A Foxy Visitor to Gordon Vets
By Helen Burns | Dated February 3, 2020
Last week we were visited by a grey-headed flying fox, which was brought in by its carer. Like much wildlife, these cute little creatures are struggling at the moment. The Ku-ring-gai Flying Fox Reserve is usually a safe place for these bats, where they can find cooler and more humid spots to roost when the high heat and low humidity are threatening them. Unfortunately the combination of recent storms that have damaged the vegetation, and hot dry days are thought to have resulted in these native animals moving down lower in the tree canopy …. And into paralysis tick territory.
Fortunately this little flying fox was rescued by a bat carer, who noted that it was weak and had laboured breathing. Sure enough she removed a paralysis tick from its body, before bringing it in to Gordon Vet Hospital where she gave it a dose of tick antiserum.
Whilst flying foxes are beautiful to look at, and fulfil a very important role in our environment as pollinators and seed dispersers, we must take care around them. Bats can carry a virus ( Australian Bat Lyssavirus), which can be transmitted from bats to people, causing a very serious illness. It is important that you do not try to touch a bat. If you see a sick or injured bat, please phone WIRES or Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service, and they will arrange for a carer to rescue it. If it is on the ground, you can cover it with a washing basket to keep it safe, however if it is low in a tree or tangled in netting, it is best to leave it alone until a carer arrives. Please ensure that children and pets are kept away