Trish Wimberley of the Australian Bat Clinic has a really hard job â according to this videoâs info, she once went three nights without sleeping so she could care for her nocturnal charges. But thereâs one significant benefit to spending huge amounts of time and money looking after sick, injured, and orphaned baby bats. Yes, exactly â baby bats!
Bats generally get a pretty bad rap among humans – we accuse them of sucking our blood, getting stuck in our hair and scaring the living daylights out of Christian Bale.
But a video released by friends of the Australian Bat ClinicÂ earlier this year and now going viral online, shows that bats — at least orphaned baby fruit bats — are just as adorable as yourÂ average BuzzFeed cute animal list.
The clip shows Bat Clinic worker (and fruit bat surrogate mother) Trish Wimberley, whose job entails looking caring for the babies until they can be released back into the wild.
Video description says that Trish Wimberley looks after hundreds of orphaned baby bats and rears them until they can be released into the wild. It’s a tireless, never ending job which keeps her awake all hours.
A typical day may include feeding (the food is about $1000 a week), health checks, doing their laundry (the dryer and washing machine electricity bill costs up to $8000 every 3 or 4 months!), bat transportation for release – everything they need in order to survive.
Fruit bats, sometimes known as flying-foxes, are Â unique mammal that given its ability to fly. And as it is written in the encyclopedia Brittanica, they Â are part of theÂ MegachiropteraÂ suborder.
According to the Australian government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment, In Australia,Â there are about a dozen different species of the large bats,Â eating mostly plant products including fruits, flowers and nectar
The animals are essential to maintaining the Australian ecosystem, according to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, as they spread pollen and seeds over long distances, facilitating germination.
They are vulnerable when young and can easily become orphaned, as were a group of 98 fruit bats wereÂ rescued by an animal hospital in Brisbane, Australia in 2011.
The bats were orphaned when Cyclone Yasi destroyed tree canopies where the bats normally live, forcing them to forage on the ground and exposing them to deadly ticks.
Rachel Sloan, a caregiver for the bats, told reporters that it has been difficult caring for them. âWell itâs like a new newborn baby, but youâve got 100 of them,â she said.
Left to forage on the ground, the bats are believed to have lost their parents to an outbreak of tick paralysis in the forest around Tolga.
The adorable tykes are also pollinators, key players in healthy forest eco-systems. The RSPCA Australia’s Michael Beatty shared that, “Without the flying foxes, there are no forests.Â They simply die out.”