ImageNEVER HANDLE WILD ANIMALS, INCLUDING BATS, WITH YOUR Hands

A bat is a wild animal. When it is picked up it will bite. Bats are small, so when they are on the ground, people tend to approach them. When they are sick or injured a bat often lies quietly and looks calm until they are touched, then they will try to protect themselves. Humans should never touch a bat without protecting themselves. We wouldn't pick up an injured or sick raccoon or feral cats without protecting ourselves, but somehow people don't stop and think about the dangers of being bitten by a bat. If the bat is touched with bare hands, the bat must be tested for rabies; this means the bat will need to be killed. If the bat escapes, the person should contact their health provider to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. Many animals do not show symptoms of rabies until the disease has progressed. Signs and symptoms vary between species. Generally bats do not become ferocious when they display signs of rabies. They donít foam at the mouth, or have other symptoms for which we are more familiar. Just because a bat is not acting vicious doesn't mean it's not sick. For more information see the CDC website.

IF THE BAT IS FLYING INSIDE THE HOME, open the doors or windows. Turn inside lights out and turn on outside lights. The bat will follow the bugs which are attracted to the light.

If you are sure no contact has occurred

  1. Wait until the bat is motionless. Move slowly and calmly.
  2. Cover the bat with a box or container. Contact NorCal Bats at 530-902-1918.
  3. If the bat must be moved, wear heavy gloves for your safety and the safety of the bat. Use a small box or coffee can and a piece of cardboard to scoop the bat into a box or other small container.
  4. Place a cloth such as t-shirt material (nothing with loops that can catch the bat’s toes) in the box to give it a place to cling and hide. Water can be offered by placing it in a very shallow container (like a baby food jar lid).
  5. Make sure the box with the bat is safe from predators, pets and children; in a calm quiet place, out of the direct sun.
  6. Call, don’t send e-mail for a rescue. Contact NorCal Bats at 530-902-1918 or the California Department of Fish & Game for a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/rehab/facilities.html
  7. Do not attempt to rehabilitate the bat on your own or try to keep it as a pet. Bats have very specific dietary and environmental requirements. A trained rehabilitator will be familiar with the needs of the various bat species. Also, it is not legal to keep any wildlife as a pet.

Emergency Contact Number: 530-902-1918