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Weld County Animal Control officer helps fallen bat

Posted on 04/24/2020

A Weld County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control officer recently helped a member of one of North America’s tiny bat species that had fallen and couldn’t get up.

About 11:30 a.m. April 13, Animal Control Officer Caitlin Perun responded to a house on Hopi Trail in Loveland on a report of a resident who found a bat laying on the ground outside her home on the patio. The bat, a little brown bat, was smaller than the palm of an average person’s hand.

“The thing with bats is if they land on the ground, they often can’t get back up on their own,” Perun said. “He wasn’t sick or injured, he just couldn’t get up.”

In order to move the bat, Perun needed something small so the bat could latch onto it with his feet. She used the cable from her catch pole, which was not only small enough for the bat to grab, but long enough to keep him at a safe distance. Perun moved the bat to a nearby tree.

Little brown bats are a species of endangered, mouse-eared microbats native to Colorado and the rest of North America. Individuals weigh between 5 1/2 to 12 1/2 grams and have a wingspan of about 8 to 10 inches.

Although it can be affected by rabies, the virus is not nearly as pervasive in little brown bats as it is in two of its North American cousins, the big brown bat and the silver-haired bat. The little brown bat is susceptible to white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that can occur during hibernation and features visible fungal growth on the nose, ears and wings.

For more information about bats and what to do if you find one, visit ColoradoBatCREW.com.