Fruit nets more than bats can bear

12/01/17 Foxes. Naomi Carr is a wildlifr rescuer, she is urging people not to use nets to protect there fruit trees because of the injuries they cause to fruit bats. Photo by Kristian Scott

A Greendale animal rescuer who’s recently saved three bats tangled in fruit tree netting is urging people to be more mindful of wildlife.

Naomi Carr, of Badgar Wildlife Rescue, rescued a threatened yellow-bellied sheath-tailed bat and two grey-headed flying foxes, listed as vulnerable, in the past two months.

She says the animals were caught in netting on fruit trees, and some had been badly injured.

“The bats go in to get fruits because they’re hungry, but as soon as they get tangled, they struggle to get out and they tangle themselves a lot more, which causes a lot more damage” Ms Carr says.

The bats can sustain horrific injuries, including broken bones and wings, and can die as a result, Ms Carr says.

“It’s very painful for the bats. Even if you can’t see the injuries, they have to come in for seven to 10 days … because the damage comes out more and they may need antibiotics.”

There are 12 species of bats in Moorabool, a recent Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group analysis revealed. Ms Carr has recommended people do the “finger-test” when netting trees.

“If you can put your finger through the holes in the netting, then it’s not wildlife safe.”

But she warned people not to handle bats as they carry a strain of the rabies virus.

Call Badgar Wildlife Rescue on 1300 223 427.