28 little red flying fox pups were treated for hypothermia. Image Credit: courtesy Australia Zoo

28 little red flying fox pups treated for hypothermia

  • BY AG Staff Writer |
  • July 05, 2016

Last week, 28 baby little red flying foxes were brought to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

A SPECIALIST BAT carer on the Gold Coast, Queensland, last week made an alarming discovery when she found 28 little red flying foxes pups on the ground at a known bat camp near Mt Ommaney.

Alarmed by the number of 'patients', Trish rushed all 28 of the babies to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

little red flying fox pups

Image courtesy Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

According to a statement from the Wildlife Hospital, it's particularly unusual to see little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) with young so far south at this time of year, as they usually bear their young in the warmer northern climate. 

It is thought that in this case, the baby flying foxes were unable to cope with the colder temperatures while their mother was searching for food, so they dropped from their tree roost suffering hypothermia.

“When the pups arrived, it was all hands on deck with the three vets and six vet nurses on duty quickly tending to each patient,” said Dr. Rebecca Millers, one of the treating vets on duty at the Wildlife Hospital when the pups were brought in.

little red flying fox pups

Image courtesy Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

“We administered warm electrolyte fluids, wrapped them in special ‘bat wraps’ and kept them in a cosy environment to bring their temperature back up,” she said, adding: 

“Bat pups are soothed by dummies similar to human children so each of the 28 patients received their own comforting pacifier too." 

The pups were successfully treated and sent with Trish for further care at her specialist facility on the Gold Coast.

little red flying fox pups

Image courtesy Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

However, Trish has since contacted the Wildlife Hospital reporting that she's discovered several more pups on the ground at the same camp, again attributed to the cold weather.

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital stresses that bats are an integral part of the bush ecosystem, helping to pollinate various plant species. 

If you come across a bat that needs help, contact the Wildlife Emergency Hotline on 1300 369 652.

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