Thursday, 26 July 2012

Rescuing an injured Bat

Rescuing an injured Bat
This morning Neeta and I helped in rescuing an injured bat.
It was during the morning walk at Secunderabad Club, when I noticed something struggling to crawl around a tree bark. Going closer I realised it was a bat which had got stuck in the strings used for kite flying. In an effort to untangle itself, the bat had got stuck further in the web made out of the string. It had woven itself around the bark of the tree. I tried breaking the string with bare hands. But it would not. Then I rubbed it against the bark and it worked! The bat could now move around the bark. See the picture (luckily I had the camera in the car which I had brought along to shoot 'rain drops'). Bats always like it upside down! Even when injured!
 Now the bat was unshackled from the tree but still stuck in the maze of strings wound tightly across its wings, neck and wing tips. Closer scrutiny revealed that it had cuts/wounds on the wing tip using which it gets a hold on the tree, its neck and one ear lobe. You can see the blood on its ear lobe. 

Its eyes tried to say ‘Please help me!’ Don’t you get the same feeling? How could I abandon it in that condition?

By now Neeta had also joined me after her Yoga session. To our bad luck, she hadn’t brought her bag which generally has a pair of scissors. We needed it to cut all the strings around the bat so that it could be free. The nearest first aid box at the Badminton court had no scissors. However, one of the ball boys fetched a pair of scissors. I used it to trim the strings which had formed a cage for the bat. While doing so, the bat lost its grip on the bark and fell to the ground. It then started to crawl across the road, still tangled in its web of strings.

Neeta had a brilliant idea. Why not cover its eyes with a hand towel? Perhaps then we would be able to hold its body and cut all the strings free. For a moment it worked. But the next moment, the bat set itself free of the towel mask and caught Neeta’s sandals. She shrieked and set herself free. By now some more onlookers and security guards had arrived.
One of the guards D Gogoi then offered to help. He caught the bat by its neck and another guard then took the scissors to quickly cut off the maze. We could hear its shrill shrieks which we otherwise hear at night. The bat was now free but badly injured. So much so that it could not fly. 

We then took it to a nearby tree and made it climb the bark—safe beyond the reach of dogs and cats! Hopefully, it would recover and regain strength to fly again. May be its mate would look for it in the night!

We all heaved a sigh of relief having saved a fellow creature on our lovely planet!
But the next time you lose your kite, please recover the string. Before it hurts and kills another bat!