For the Tolga Bat hospital, rescuing flying mammals is part of everyday life, but there are some winged residents that take carers by surprise, like Lucia.
This beautiful Tube-Nosed bat was found on a barbed-wire fence at Topaz by rescuer Luke. Luckily, the wing came away easily as she was rescued early in the day, meaning that the wing hadn’t dried around the barbs.
She arrived at Tolga Bat Hospital very calm and placid, with an injury over a finger bone but little damage to the wing. The team were worried as she initially chose to lie down most of the day and that she seemed unusually large for her stage of pregnancy. The local vet did an ultrasound that thankfully concluded that all was well with the pregnancy. The team were surprised at how unfazed she was as they shaved her belly, applied the gel and moved the head of the ultrasound around.
They named her Lucia after her rescuer Luke. Her day typically starts and ends with a five ml nectar drink fortified with nutritional additives. During the night she is housed in a soft-sided flexarium and munches on banana, now that her favourite fruit custard apple is out of season. Once her wound is healed, she will be allowed out into the 3.5m high outdoor flight cage to regain some strength. Her wounds are being treated with dressings and antibiotic cover.
She surprised her carers by giving birth to her little pup three weeks before expected. When carers brought her in to change her wound dressing, they noticed that she had given birth and had just popped out the placenta.
Both Lucia and her baby are doing well. Lucia’s wing has healed a lot, however she has lost a lot of fitness.