Volunteers at the Tolga Bat Hospital in Atherton Tablelands, are nursing several baby bats back to health before releasing them back into the wild. These fruit bat pups are brought in when they are afflicted by tick paralysis or when their mothers have died, or become too ill to feed them (usually from the same disease).

Fruit Bats fall into the category of the Megabat and are sometimes called the Flying Fox. They are said to have the best vision of all bat species and have very long tongues that unroll when they are feeding. When they aren’t eating the tongue rolls back up and it is tucked away internally around the rib cage rather than remaining in the mouth. The shape of the wings on Fruit Bats can actually be very different based on location. There are many experts who believe that this has to do with the fact that they live in different areas and have different types of fruit trees to eat from.

The Tolga Bat Hospital works for the conservation of bats and their habitat by rescuing and rehabilitating them before releasing hundreds of bats each year into the wild and provide lifetime sanctuary for many bats that are too severely injured to return to the wild or have been retired from zoos. The hospital is a non-profit community group, a Landcare group and a registered charity which aims to improve how the public perceives and understands bats. It is important for humans to realize that the Fruit Bat helps to create more fruit by dispensing the seeds. When they fly they will spit them out all over the place.

The group takes its name from the nearby Tolga Scrub, a fragment of the critically endangered Mabi rainforest. It’s home to up to a million fruit bats at some times of the year.

[Photo Credit: Facebook]