RTW05 #2: tolga bat hospital, australia

on tuesday, november 15th 2005, i landed in tropical cairns (queensland, australia) [G] and took the bus to atherton. there i was picked up by jenny mclean, who runs the tolga bat hospital.

spectacled flying-fox (pteropus conspicillatus) - portrait

in tolga, a colony of the endangered species pteropus conspicillatus (spectacled flying fox, brillenflughund) is affected by a tick which paralyses its host. as a result, there are lots of flying-fox parents who die from starvation (being paralysed), and jenny and her team are collecting the babies to care for them (and the surviving adults).

while i was there, we had between 50 and 70 baby-bats to nurse (there were 300 the year before!), with 5 feeds a day (from 6am to about 9pm everyday).
besides there were several cages for the cubs with live mums, the older (self-feeding) orphans, some “permanent residents”, and a couple of microbats. all this is located in jenny’s backyard.

mary, with lots of bat-babies on her

anyway, i stayed at the bat hospital for about a week and helped out.
also there were ashleigh (australia), bonnie (united kingdom), mary* (united states), and several local volunteers – like gillian, a neighbour who had to drive for 1 hour to get from her place to the hospital…
it was an extremely nice place to be in (regarding people and the place itself), and another good chance to experience what practical nature conservation is like.
* mary is the woman who gave me lots of advice on where to study, and, more importantly, got me addicted to tacos :-)

if you’re interested in volunteering at the tolga bat hospital, contact jenny (you’ll find her contact details at www.tolgabathospital.org). they’re pretty busy most of the time, and (i think) help is always appreciated.

[view photos: tolga bat hospital – adults]
[view photos: tolga bat hospital – babies]
[view photos: tolga bat hospital – people]
[view photos: tolga bat hospital – portraits]
[view photos: tolga scrub]
[view photos: tolga bat hospital – more bat-species]
[view photos: tolga bat hospital – other]

[view all posts of this group]

2 thoughts on “RTW05 #2: tolga bat hospital, australia

  1. I just saw a documentary about the bat hospital on German TV (360° on arte), then researched a bit more about the bats on Wikipedia and immediately recognized that your photograph has to be from the station. Came here to confirm and say thanks for the cool photo and thanks to the Tolga bat hospital for their great work.

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