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6 Nov 2014

This Bat Hospital Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Tolga Bat Hospital in Far North Queensland is AMAZE. Great work guys.


Juergen Freund / Caters News

These HEARTHBREAKINGLY CUTE pictures show orphaned baby spectacled flying foxes wrapped up in blankets and being fed from bottles.

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Swathed in spotted and striped blankets, the orphaned bats are being cared for at the Tolga Bat Hospital in Atherton, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Tolga Bat Hospital volunteers Ashleigh Johnson and Amy Green love their work [ALSO, THEY ARE TRUE BLUE AUSSIE LEGENDS].

Juergen Freund / Caters News

And why wouldn't you when you get to haul around a tray of INSANELY CUTE miniature flying foxes all day?

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Situated in rainforest in tropical Far North Queensland, Tolga Bat Hospital cares for up to 500 orphaned baby flying foxes each year.

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About 300 babies are orphaned near Tolga every Spring because their mother is ill and cannot feed them.

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Typically, the mother has died from tick paralysis.

"We find a lot of mothers found on the ground in the rainforest with a paralysis tick," volunteer Ashleigh Johnson told BuzzFeed.

"This is the time of year they have their one baby a year, October to December. Bats have only been coming into contact with paralysis ticks since the mid-1980s. We think that's because of a change in feeding behavior, when wild tobacco was accidentally introduced from South America. The flying foxes come down low to eat the berries and pick-up the ticks. The tick has a powerful neurotoxin that can kill a small horse, it's extremely potent. The bats have no immunity, they get paralyzed within a couple of days, drop out of their trees and die. We search through the colony once a day from September to December, pick-up the orphans and care for them."

Normally we associate bats with being blood-thirsty, but all these cute critters want to drink is some bottled milk.

Juergen Freund / Caters News

"We feed them every four hours with milk,” says Johnson. “Feeding and cleaning them frequently. They move on to fruit at three months, learn to fly, then move to our bat avery, before we release them in February. We have a cage in the colony and food out above the cage. It takes five months, slowly reducing supplied food, before they become self-sufficient. It’s very rewarding work.”

Like human babies, their days consist of eating, sleeping and occasional baths.

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Orphaned baby spectacled flying foxes. Gorgeous right?

Juergen Freund / Caters News

Visit Tolga Bat Hospital's website here (they run tours) and like them on Facebook.

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