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Video of Baxter in his new home

Our certificate of adoption from Bat World Sanctuary:

Baxter's Story

Baxter has overcome a lot of things in his life but he continues to surprise us with his resilience.

Unfortunately, his story starts off like many in the cruel exotic pet trade; he was alone, isolated, and kept in far too small of a cage for 12 long years. Typically, fruit bats kept alone don’t survive more than a year – the fact that he’d been alone for all those years was both heartbreaking and a testament to his spirit. This only strengthened our desire to have him retire at the sanctuary and give him the life he has always deserved.

We were made aware of his plight when contacted by his owner in February of 2020, and we were thrilled to hear that she wanted to surrender him to us. He had been used for educational programs and other events his entire life, and his owner was retiring from the exotic animal business.

While making transport arrangements, Baxter’s owner expressed that she wanted to drive him from Minnesota to Texas when the weather was warmer, which we agreed would be less stressful for him than flying alone on a plane. Unfortunately, Covid-19 travel restrictions pushed back Baxter’s original arrival date, and offers to send a volunteer to pick up Baxter or transfer him to a local bat rehabilitator were declined.

After much back and forth with the owner, she eventually admitted that she was tired of waiting to place him, and she transferred him to a small local zoo to once again be used for programs. We were heartbroken and devastated for Baxter. After some pressing, we discovered that the small zoo was in fact a wolf center and that he was still being kept alone and confined to a small cage.

We quickly reached out to the center and attempted to educate, in great detail, about the needs of captive Egyptian fruit bats in hopes that they would allow us to rescue him… to no avail. As a last resort, we offered to make a donation to the wolf center for the “release” of Baxter, and sadly, that is what it took to gain his freedom. Our volunteer, Jennifer Dantzler, then immediately booked a flight to Minnesota, secured Baxter, rented a car, and drove the two-day trip to bring Baxter home.

We were shocked when Baxter arrived. He was thin and had lost the majority of his teeth, which is highly unusual for an Egyptian fruit bat as they typically have very healthy teeth and rarely have dental issues at all. It is most likely that Baxter was taken away from his mother far too soon and thus deprived of the calcium needed to maintain a healthy mouth.

Baxter was also mentally scarred from his years in isolation, and seeing and hearing the other bats appeared to be overwhelming for him. We decided to introduce him to our “Geriatric Ward” first. The Geriatric Ward is a small enclosure located inside the large fruit bat enclosure and allows the elderly bats that can no longer fly to be part of the action while still having extra padding, hammocks, and snacks close by.

Upon meeting the older bats, Baxter trembled uncontrollably and appeared petrified. Egyptian fruit bats are incredibly social animals and often live in colonies that number into the thousands in the wild. To keep them alone is an inexcusable act, and incredibly damaging to their mental health.

Thankfully by the second day, his instincts had kicked in and he curled up in a hammock with his new friends. He quickly grew very attached to his little group of senior girls, and he spent every second with them. Eventually, his social skills and weight had improved and he was ready to meet the main Egyptian colony. Caregivers marked him with non-toxic temporary paint so that they could monitor him. As he was being taken to meet his forever family he began flapping his wings in an attempt to get there even sooner, as seen in the video below.

Over 80 fellow Egyptians, many of whom came from similar situations, took turns saying hello and giving Baxter a good once over. He welcomed them all with open wings, and within the hour he had wiggled his way into the heart of the colony, where he had always belonged. In the following weeks, Baxter stretched and flapped his wings with the others, building the muscles that had gone so long without being used.

He picked a favorite nighttime spot next to the fruit dishes and near the romaine lettuce so that he could get first dibs. At night, he now waits in his spot for caretakers to hand out treats, and we always save several extra-soft pieces of melon just for him. Baxter’s dental problems may slow down his chewing just a bit, but with a variety of soft fruits always available, he’s gained quite a nice little belly during his time here. He often takes trips over to the Geriatric Ward to say hello to his ladies, and he’s even flying with the others now.

Baxter’s progress has amazed us, and we feel so fortunate to be able to offer him his retirement. He will never have to work another day, or wonder where his colony is. He will never be trapped in a bird cage again, or be transferred to another facility. Baxter will remain with his roost mates at the sanctuary for the rest of his life. We feel incredibly lucky that we get to see his toothless little smile every single night. It is often said that money can’t buy happiness, but in Baxter’s case it truly did.

Source - feel free to adopt Baxter or any other bats for yourself!

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Try to imagine what this feels like… someone takes you captive, you don’t know why. You don’t speak their language and you are powerless to escape. You have no idea what they want of you, and you are terrified.

Your captor locks you in a bathroom. This bathroom has a window covered with shade, but you are not allowed to open it to get fresh air or even look outside. There is a sink, but only your captor knows how to turn the water on. There is a toilet that you can eliminate, but only your captor decides when it should be flushed.

You get the same thing to eat day after day after day after day. When you don’t feel good no one knows how to help, so you suffer in pain. There are no pictures on the walls, no TV, no computer, no phones, and no friends. You have absolutely nothing whatsoever to help you pass the endless days and nights. If you are lucky you might have a companion, but otherwise, you are completely alone, and this is where you will spend every single day for the rest of your natural life.

This is what a bat feels when we take it into captivity.

I know we joke about bats being sky puppies in this community, but they are wild animals and they belong in the wild (or in specially designed sanctuaries if they are too injured to survive on their own).

If you ever see someone keep a bat as a pet, please try your best to educate them and let them know that Bat World will take their pet in to rehabilitate, no questions asked.

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cross-posted from: https://feddit.uk/post/12909606

Support our first manifesto for bats - News - Bat Conservation Trust

BCT launches our first manifesto, created so that evidence-based conservation policy ideas are available for political parties and decision makers. Now we’d like your support to get these ideas out there.

Why a bat conservation manifesto?

Bat conservation faces many threats, from the climate crisis to chronic underfunding of environmental services. And though legal protections have enabled some positive signs of recovery, there are still UK bat species at risk of extinction and declines in some species and areas.

Political action is needed now to protect, conserve, and enhance our natural heritage. So, we have distilled expertise from across BCT into policy asks that would protect bats - and create a nature-positive economy that benefits wildlife, people and communities.

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Here is the artist's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cj_gAqfrEJK/

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Sunday blep (lemmy.world)
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Sleeping bat (lemmy.world)
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He was an interesting character with antenna back in the first movie and a memorable voice actor.

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Image description: A black flying fox, hanging upside down from a branch, framed by a blue sky. The bat has its eyes open and is looking towards the photographer

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Eating a grape (lemmy.world)
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fond on a window edge. Gone since.

publication croisée depuis : https://discuss.tchncs.de/post/15670870

Trouvee sur un bord de fenêtre. A suivre.

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Put it in a sock for warmth, put a thin bowl of water in its mouth but it didn't seel to drink/lap. Left on an upper floor window sill, shutters opened to a third.

Anything else I can do?

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Bats

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Bats are cool

Bats are the only true flying mammals. There are over 1,400 species of bats, and they can be found on nearly every part of the planet. Not only are they cute, they are also important...

Studying how bats use echolocation has helped scientists develop navigational aids for the blind. Without bats’ pollination, seed dispersal, and pest control we wouldn’t have bananas, avocados, mangoes, agave, or cacao… that’s right, bats bring us tequila and chocolate!

Found a bat in need of help?

Celebrate bats with us!

Our community's mascot is Baxter. Baxter is an Egyptian fruit bat that was cruelly kept alone and confined to a small cage for 12 years before being rescued by a bat sanctuary. You can read the full story by clicking on his name.

Our rules for posting and commenting, besides the rules defined here for lemmy.world, are as follows:

Everyone should feel welcome here. Hateful or bigoted language will not be tolerated.

Don’t post anything a fruit bat would not approve of.

Please don't hate on bats in this community (this includes all of your edgy covid humor).

Bats don’t like spam.

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