partner, Connie, and I arrived in Cairns in readiness to present
a two day training workshop in Port Douglas. The lovely Annie
Shoenberger picked us up from the airport, and we asked to run
by the colony at Cairns library to see our first Spectacled
arrived at our anticipated destination and sure enough, a sea
of spectacled faces were looking down from the huge fig trees
surrounding the library.
Annie parked and we all got out and would you believe, the distressed
chitter of an orphaned baby was right above our heads!
up, a little pup was squeaking her lungs out, just 3 metres
off the ground. With all the other bats 15-20 metres up, this
little girl (down so low on a hot day) was in trouble.
With no rescue or rehab equipment to hand, Annie re-manoeuvred
the car so she could climb up on the hood, and within seconds
had pup in hand and handed to Connie.
never seen a live ‘speckie’ up close, Connie was now holding
one; having not long got off the plane.
pup duly down, and obviously quite dehydrated, the next problem
was fluid. Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you
have. What did we have? Well, my jumper (which was now the world's
largest baby wrap), and a bottle of dragonfruit flavoured water.
baby had latched on and was sucking my jumper, Connie slowly
dribbed the dragonfruit water onto the bit baby was sucking.
Little pup loved it and eagerly sucked life-giving fluid from
the jumper while Connie kept pouring it on.
ladies walking past became fascinated as the ‘bat public education
team’ swung into action; answered questions and let them take
two more bat fans in Katter land.
the way to Port Douglas, we picked up a syringe from a chemist,
which was a little easier to use than the dribbling on jumper
method! Connie kept hydrating baby in the back seat.
had duly bat-napped the little speckie girl! But of course,
she had to hand the little bat onto another carer when we flew
It was rather nice to have her chittering in our unit as I typed
and Connie prepared her evening milky drink.
lLittle girl stabilised quickly, and will be fine.
continue to laugh about our speckie experience and I quietly
wonder if someone "planted" an orphan in the right
tree at the right time!