17 May When Heat Rises, Bats Fall
As parts of Australia burnt, it was not just in the fire grounds that our wildlife suffered. Late into spring and all throughout summer, dedicated rescuers, carers, shelters and veterinary staff banded together to save the threatened Grey-headed Flying Fox. The Victorian heat waves hit early, right at the start of pup season to be precise. As temperatures soared some of the most vulnerable started to fall. Thousands of adults and juveniles perished during this horrific time, mothers aborted and day old pups were left orphaned before they had a chance to be shown what being loved by mum was all about.
But among all the pain and suffering many were saved. Sprinklers were going at full pelt and volunteers were hosing anyone they could get close enough to without causing mass disturbance. The fallen were raced to those with veterinary training for life saving treatment. As darkness fell survivors crawled from their hidden cool spots to rejoin the colony once more. Volunteers continued to patrol the area for days following the heat stress events in search of survivors. Sunday (pictured) was one of the lucky ones, she was found two days after the last heat event for the summer of 2019/2020, all alone and unresponsive. Fast forward to now she has just left the safety of creche and is venturing into the wild once more.