Hurt baby bat suffers high-pressure cruelty
A BABY grey-headed flying fox is recovering in intensive care after it was struck by a car, then blasted off the front of the vehicle with a high pressure hose while it was still alive.
RSPCA Queensland is investigating the cruelty case that occurred in the Redbank area on Thursday night.
Spokesman Michael Beatty said the flying fox, whose species is listed as vulnerable and threatened, was knowingly alive when a high-pressure cleaner was used to remove it from the car.
The animal was then allegedly pushed into a corner presumed dead when Bat Rescue was called to come and dispose of it.
Mr Beatty said it was not known if the perpetrator intended to hit the flying fox with his vehicle or if it was an accident, but the latter events were unnecessary and the animal was lucky to survive the ordeal.
Wildlife veterinarian Tania Bishop said the juvenile was probably taking one of its first flights when it was hit by the vehicle.
"When she came in she was in end-stage shock. She was hypothermic and her shoulder was dislocated and she had haemorrhage on her chest," Ms Bishop said.
"She's responded pretty well considering, but will be in intensive care for a couple of days and will then go into an outside enclosure.
"She will need a lot of physio because her shoulder was wrenched around backwards."
Mr Beatty said the incident was a timely reminder about what you should do if you find a sick or injured flying fox.
"There has been so much frantic media aimed at them which has created hysteria," Ms Bishop said. "If you don't touch the animal there's no way you will get lyssavirus - it's not air-borne.
"Simply let it be and call a bat rescuer, or gently put a clothes basket or box over the top of it so that it's protected. Don't touch it and call 1300 ANIMAL or a bat rescue organisation."
Ms Bishop said you need to be directly bitten or scratched by a bat carrying the virus to be at risk and people needn't be petrified of them.
"They're not aggressive. They don't purposely attack people or lunge at people. If people leave them alone, they won't hurt anyone," she said.
The RSPCA wildlife hospital is currently treating injured flying foxes on a daily basis.