Bartok is continuing on his diet and flight training.
Unfortunately due to some family health issues I won’t be able to go to WCC for a while so this is the last update on him.
Baby bat season is June through August so Thrive’s Bat Nursery will be closed down until next season.
It was a great first season and I look forward to many more!
Stay tuned for more Thrive projects!
I was finally able to get to the WCC and check on Bartok today!
He is now a whopping 20 grams! So, per the vet, is now on a diet lol
Unfortunately the vet also heard some fluid in his lungs and so is also on antibiotics.
He’s also not doing very well with learning to fly, which –if that doesn’t change–would mean he can’t be released and might become an education animal.
In other news, I learned how to take care of the WCC’s education bats today–more about them next week 🙂
If you happen to be in the northern Ohio area on September 8th or 9th come to the WCC fundraiser Wine for Wildlife from 6-9pm:
Bartok was angry today lol
Unfortunately he had lost some weight, so I fed him and gave him some love 🙂
I also learned how to flight train him!
WCC has a flight room where I squatted in, held him about a foot above the ground, then slowly and gently force him to open his wings.
He would flap a couple times then sort of drop/glide to the ground lol We did that 5 times then he finally got to go back into the reparium to rest–with his friend!
That’s right, Bartok has a friend now thanks to a different sub-permitter who only takes juvenile and adult bats.
As far as I know he doesn’t have a name (he’s another juvenile male), but he can feed himself and fly! He’s quiet and didn’t do much for me–he was probably scared–but he and Bartok seem to be doing well together 🙂
When I first got him vs before he left:
Bartok left us this week to learn how to feed himself and fly at WCC!
And while I’m sad that I didn’t have the equipment to keep him until release, I am extremely excited that he is healthy, growing, and thriving!
When I took him to WCC they had me set up his pre-flight cage and fill out intake paperwork. He will most likely stay at WCC, however another sub-permittee has more equipment for bats and another juvenile–so hopefully Bartok will make a friend 🙂
Bartok has continued to grow and mature and therefore has been moved to a bigger cage.
When I first put him in the larger aquarium he started refusing to eat. So I put his cage he is comfortable in inside the larger aquarium–and it worked!
He began to eat again and this morning I even found him outside of his little cage hanging out in the aquarium 🙂
When bats mature they become more skittish and easily scared, so it is becoming even harder to get a good picture of him as he no longer tolerates being exposed well. I have to keep him either in my hands or in a little towel cave I feed him out of.
He is still eating whole meal worms, anywhere from 20 to 30 a meal!
His fur has almost fully come in and is now a brown color close to what he should be once an adult.
My ridiculous expression is one of concentration lol
Unfortunately I don’t have a pre-flight or flight cage yet due to the expense, so this is my last week with Bartok!
This Thursday I will be taking him back to WCC so he can learn to fly then be released!
Check out my new video of my home facility!
Bartok’s weight doubled this week, he’s now 10 grams and looks nice and husky! This was achieved 1. by starting him on a formula and meal worm smoothie mix and 2. instead of only feeding him 5% of his body weight like I was told to do I started at 5% and then slowly upped it until his belly was full–more observation and knowing the individual bat than going by the numbers.
His fur is still coming in slowly but surely, and his little face looks like a mature Big Brown Bats’ 🙂
He will definitely be moving to a bigger cage now, hopefully a flight cage!
Check out my first little video on my new YouTube channel!
Things have been going well for baby Bartok, while he hasn’t been gaining weight or fur at the rate he should be, he is growing and has progressed from just formula to a mixture of formula and a meal worm smoothie–yum!
At first it took me a while to figure out how to feed it to him–since the mix has meal worm granules that get stuck in the catheter I normally feed him with.
In the end I just used the syringe without a tip, however I have to feed him very slowly and clean anything off his face as we go.
I tried to get a picture of his wings, but he wasn’t particularly cooperative lol
As I mentioned last week I did take the Rabies Vector Species training. It was about 6 hours and covered everything from information about the rabies virus to handling techniques for rabies vector species.
A rabies vector species are any animal–due to the nature of rabies it must be a mammal–who can be effected or carry the virus. The major species are bats, opossums, skunks, and foxes however other less thought of species are also included such as deer, rabbits, and woodchucks.
I now have a fancy certificate from the Ohio Rehabilitators Association!
Bartok has continued to thrive!
He’s still 5 grams, but has begun to develop more peach fuzz fur and his teeth are growing a bit.
One thing I’ve struggled with lately is that the heat and humidity level outside where I live has been fluctuating drastically–and when it does settle it seems to be on low humidity levels.
Infant bats require approximately 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 to 90 percent humidity.
This means that I’ve set up a small room heater and humidifier in an attempt to increase these elements outside so (hopefully) his cage can maintain better temp and humidity. Ideally he should be in an incubator, however when I priced those they were WAY out of my price range. So I’ve continued with my improvised home-made incubator.
My biggest concern has been, and continues to be, the fact that he doesn’t have any companionship.
Bats in general, and Big Browns in particular, are social animals and it is not unusual for them to die due to isolation.
However I feel bad wishing another baby would be orphaned!
Tomorrow I’ll be attending a Rabies Vector Species training. I assume it will basically be 8 hours of rabies protocols, but in order for me to work with any adult–or I believe juveniles–I have to have this training.
Luckily for me it is at Stark Parks, so I will be able to drop Bartok off at WCC and he will be fed until I’m done.
This week I was able to get the book “Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats” by Amanda Lollar from Bat World Sanctuary!
To my knowledge it’s the premier resource on bat rehabilitation, and it came with a couple handouts and and Bat World’s Annual Report.
I’m extremely happy to say that Bartok is thriving!
He’s been growing, his eyes are open, and he’s even beginning to grow a little peach-fuzz like fur 🙂
This is me feeding him–he now eats about 0.25cc of formula every 3hrs, and has grown to 5 grams!
Bats are actually very clean animals and groom themselves meticulously. However Bartok is still an infant and needs to be cleaned using a warm, damp, cotton swab.
He hates it though and fights against me every time lol
This is a picture of his belly after eating. It’s important that he get enough food so he can continue to grow, but not so much that he becomes bloated.
By next week I hope to post a video about my rehabilitation home facility starring Bartok!
On Monday I was called and made the trip to pick up a new bat baby–meet Bartok!
Name courtesy of my lovely wife (Thrive’s photojournalist 🙂 )
WCC had been giving him a 1/2 electromean (spelling?) + 1/2 formula mixture to make sure he was well hydrated. When they first got him he came with a brother, both were dehydrated, and unfortunately his brother didn’t live.
However he was very strong and what surprised both of us was how much beefier he looked compared to Allister–and Bartok was, at most, only a few days older.
So luckily he was doing well!
As he’s been growing I’ve been working on trying to adjust the amount of formula he gets. It’s supposed to be 5% of his body weight, but I have to make sure that he’s digesting everything and not getting bloated.
This is me giving him a bath–which he hates lol
He’s extremely chatty and active, he enjoys yelling at me while crawling around looking for either a cranny or food.
On Thursday I took him to WCC for Vanessa to check him out and make sure it looks like I’m doing everything right (I’m in the Mentor stage of becoming a sub-permittee). I take a ton of notes (habit from working in social services), which helps me keep track of changes and progress and reminds me how he’s been doing overall–though that’s not everyone’s style.
But it seemed to be working because Vanessa said he looked great!
Today he was beginning to look too skinny and was acting a little lethargic. After contacting Vanessa I adjusted his formula, feeding schedule, and decided to feed him via catheter instead of sponge.
He was weaned onto sponge feeding a WCC, however Bartok is pretty aggressive and bite-y so I was having difficulty with him clamping onto the sponge and not letting go when I needed to clean it or even to give him a fresh one with formula on it. So then when he needed to be beefed up I decided the best way to make sure he doesn’t accidentally digest sponge and that he’s actually getting all of the formula was by “reverting” to the previous stage of feeding, which involves getting a tiny catheter tube tip into his mouth and slowly syringing out how much he needs.
My adjustments worked and Bartok is still currently thriving 🙂