Rescue of more than 500 Barbastelle bats

Today we would like to highlight a rescue operation involving western barbastelle bats (Barbastella barbastellus) that were found in one of the military objects in northern Ukraine.
HOWEVER, our team would like to emphasize we are strongly opposed to removal/relocation of bats from their roosting sites during hibernation and/or breeding season. Specialists of our helpline talk to people all over the country every day to persuade them not to disturb bats until spring!
Thanks to this work (which is almost invisible from the outside) dozens of roosting sites with thousands of bats have been saved from destruction.
This time postponement was not possible. The underground object had to be urgently renovated. Therefore, we had to move the bats that were hibernating there to our partner – Rivne Zoo, where a bat rehabilitation center had previously been set up with our assistance.
It took more than 6 hours for 2 people just to collect them all over the shelter.

??? The total number of relocated animals is 573 barbastelle bats, one Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii), one Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri) and one Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus)!
It took one more full day to carefully examine and weigh them together with the staff of Rivne zoo. As a result 2/3 of them were found in a good state and could continue winter hibernation in a cool place. Others will be manually fed to gain weight and will later join the rest.
We wish those bats a successful hibernation. Actually, there’s only one month left before spring. As soon as it gets warm outside we will release those animals near the location where they were hibernating.

Thanks to everyone supporting our project, which made this rescue operation possible!
Many thanks to Gozak Natalia, ifaw, Valeria Bohodist, Angelica But, the director and the staff of Rivne zoo, Julia Skobluk, the people who asked for help with bats!

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