Walsall flight cage built for injured bats

The flight cage cost up to £3,000 to build and is used by 10 volunteer bat carers.

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Vulnerable young bats are being taught to fly by an elder in a new rehabilitation cage before being returned to the wild.

Voluntary group Birmingham and Black Country Bat Group (BrumBats) has put up the flight cage in Walsall.

An adult bat named Bella is teaching 10 young bats, which are injured, exhausted or not well. BrumBats hopes to release them next month.

The group said it had had more bats in care in recent years.

BrumBats said members of the public had brought more into care "partly due to adverse weather, such as the last winter and the heatwave in February last year".

Its bat care co-ordinator, Morgan Bowers, said Bella could be a year old or anything up to 20-years-old.

'Got by cat'

She said: "Bats are very social and the young bats learn from the adult bats in care about how to fly and how to feed on the wing i.e. catching food in the air.

"Towards the end of the afternoon, early evening, one at a time we test that they can fly. We feed them every day, weigh them once a week and monitor how they're doing.

"But we don't get to see the exciting stuff.

"They are nocturnals and do most of their flying at night."

She added that baby bats can be orphaned or abandoned and the group has "to hand rear them".

"Quite often we have bats that have been grounded i.e. they're exhausted and not well or they can be injured. They might have been got by a cat."

The group has about 10 volunteer bat carers.

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