The other day a friend of my called me in a panic. The fruit bats have taken over the big tree in her back yard and she didn’t know what to do.
“It’s intolerable”, she told me “They make a racket all night, they poop all over my car and frighten the children. What do I do?!”
I told her that i have a good news and a bad news to tell her.
The good news is that Melbourne’s fruit bats are transient creatures. They rarely stay in one place for long. Usually in 2-3 weeks they will be moving to new pastures.
The bad news is that fruit bats are not as harmless as they look. Bats in Australia (all kinds – the big fruit bats and the little insectivorous ones) can carry Lissa virus, which is a variant of Rabies. It is spread by biting and scratching and two people have died from it in Melbourne after handling bats.
So the message is – if you find an injured bat on the ground or if one fries into your open bedroom window by accident, don’t handle it. Call the council and they will relocate the bat safely.
I am actually vaccinated against Rabies (aka Lissa virus) and therefore can handle a bat safely. If you are stuck in that situation, give me a call.