WILDLIFE 911: Bats
IMPORTANT - Rabies vector species should never be handled without gloves. A bat flying around in the daytime or banging into things, or unable to fly is a sign something could be wrong. Call the WRSOS hotline for advice regarding rabies vector species. Visit our Rabies page for further information.
LEFT: Image courtesy of Kayla Hatzel
There are many circumstances that may cause a bat to wind up on the ground:
It is important to know that all species of Saskatchewan bats are unable to take flight from the ground and are also unable to jump. They must be able to drop from something such as a wall or tree in order to fly. Bats that are grounded are completely helpless and can be easily contained with a box or pail. Please keep children and pets away from grounded bats. Bats are gentle animals but, may bite when they are sick or frightened.
A grounded bat can be helped using the following technique:
If the bat remains for a long period of time or is too weak to hang on there could be other issues and it should be brought to a licensed rehabilitator. Contain it in a box or Tupperware, provide a face cloth or rag for it to hide in and contact the Wildlife Hotline for further instructions.
LEFT: Image courtesy of Angela Field Tate
First things first - DON”T PANIC! The bat is more afraid of you! It is common for Big Brown Bats to occasionally blunder into our living spaces, offices, and schools. There are many ways they can gain entry into our homes and they often even hibernate in between the walls of our homes.
If you have a bat flying around your house there are several things you can do.
Image courtesy of Bat Conservation International
If the bat remains for a long period of time or is too weak to hang on there could be other issues and it should be brought to a licensed rehabilitator. Contact the Wildlife Hotline for further instructions.
If it is during winter, a bat would be unable to survive outside. Bats occasionally turn up inside buildings in winter when they wake up from hibernation to drink water. They follow the cavities around the building looking for condensation to drink and occasionally follow pipes or other openings into our living spaces. In these circumstances, a bat can be captured using the above techniques and then instead of releasing them, call the WRSOS hotline. We have several licensed rehabilitators that can hibernate the bats until spring when they can be released.