Beachgoer rescues bat seen struggling at pier

By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital

A Brazilian free-tailed bat was among the 42 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a common tern, two black scoters and a Florida softshell turtle.

The bat was brought to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital by a woman who found it on the Fort Myers Beach Pier. A physical exam showed the bat had no obvious external injuries and was in good condition. Wildlife Hospital staff provided supportive care and allowed the bat time to rest.

A test flight the following evening allowed the staff to evaluate the bat. The bat was flying and maneuvering around the flight space with no signs of problems and showed the bat was ready to go; staff released the bat near where she was originally found.

We greatly appreciate that the woman took the time to assist the bat. She kept herself safe during the rescue and transport process which is vitally important.

Bats, as well as bobcats, raccoons, otters and many other animals have the potential to carry the rabies virus meaning they are rabies vector species (RVS).
If you encounter a RVS please call the wildlife hospital for advice before taking action. Human safety has to be the main priority when attempting to help an animal in need.

Recent Releases — 16 Animals Go Home

  • 1 big brown bat
  • 3 eastern cottontails
  • 1 Florida red-bellied turtle
  • 1 raccoon
  • 1 peninsula cooter
  • 1 grey squirrel
  • 1 pied-billed grebe
  • 1 red-shouldered hawk
  • 1 grey catbird
  • 1 osprey
  • 1 Virginia opossum
  • 1 sandwich tern
  • 1 great horned owl
  • 1 gopher tortoise

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