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Wild swings in temperatures in Central VA confuse bats

Published: Mar. 7, 2017 at 4:38 PM EST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 at 4:21 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - After a roller coaster ride of temperatures in recent weeks -- with highs in the 80s and lows dipping back into the 20s -- some animals are confused.

Melissa Stanley, executive director of the Richmond Wildlife Center, says her facility has had to treat several bats recently that left their warms homes to venture out to temperatures that were too cold.

This week, the Wildlife Center posted a photo of a bat to Facebook that was hypothermic and dehydrated.

"He will hang out with us until night time temperatures in the mid-60s consistently return," the Wildlife Center posted on Facebook.

Stanley says the warmer temperatures have also caused some reptiles to emerge early. One of her employees recently treated a dog for a copperhead bite.

She says if someone comes across a bat in need to help to not touch it directly with their hands.

If someone has handled a bat, local health departments will likely require it to be euthanized due to the risk of rabies.

Stanley says if someone sees a bat, they should scoop it up with a bucket and garden tools, and wear gloves during the process.

If you have a bat in need, you can contact the Richmond Wildlife Center at (804) 378-2000 or find a wildlife rehabilitator on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.

  • For more information on what to do if you need to help a bat, visit batworld.org.

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