Found a Bat on the Gold Coast, Logan or Scenic Rim?

Please DO NOT TOUCH or attempt to rescue the bat yourself!
Keep your kids and pets away from the bat.
Call your nearest wildlife rescue organisation immediately!
Call our BatsQLD 24-hour bat rescue hotline on 0447 222 889 for the wider Gold Coast area and we will send an experienced volunteer rescuer.

We do not charge for our services. Our rescuers are all trained volunteers who rescue and rehabilitate bats as a free community service. They receive no government funding and are not paid for their time. DONATIONS are always welcome to cover the cost for petrol, phone bills, fruit and veterinary supplies.

Please DO NOT TOUCH THE BAT – Bats are not aggressive animals, but they will defend themselves if trapped, frightened or in agony and you will likely get bitten or scratched – getting you and the bat in trouble! Keep your kids and pets away from the bat.

If you can avoid direct contact with the animal, you can place a towel or box over the bat to keep it in place and to protect it from direct sunlight until the rescuer arrives. You can use a broom or pool cleaning net to gently move it out of harm’s way or to scoop it out of water. NEVER HANDLE A BAT WITH BARE HANDS, no matter how small it is! Ask the rescue phone operator for advice if you are unsure of what to do or read the following paragraphs for more information.

Bat Rescue Contacts outside the Gold Coast area:
  • QLD – Brisbane area – Bat Conservation and Rescue QLD Inc. – 0488 228 134
  • QLD – Sunshine Coast – Bat Rescue Inc. – 07 5441 6200
  • QLD – Townsville – Townsville Bat Rescue Inc. – 0499 644 423
  • QLD – Townsville – Stonedeaf Wildlife Townsville – 0455 795 109
  • QLD – Cairns – Far North QLD Rescue – 07 4053 4467
  • QLD – Atherton – Tolga Bat Hospital – 07 4091 2683
  • QLD – Other Areas – RSPCA – 1300 264 625
  • SA – Adelaide – Fauna Rescue Bat Team – 08 8486 1139
  • VIC – Wildlife Victoria – 03 8400 7300
  • VIC – FlyByNight Bat Clinic – 0409 530 541

Why do bats need rescuing?

Bats in the wild have very few predators, however as human habitation encroaches on their habitat, bats are coming into care for a variety of reasons:

Fruit netting entrapment

Backyard fruit-protection netting kills countless bats, birds, snakes and marsupials each year. Fruit isn’t the preferred food of flying foxes – they would rather eat native nectar and pollen. If there is not much native food around, however, bats will eat fruit in backyard gardens and orchards. They invariably get caught in netting.
If you see a bat in a net, it will not ‘get itself out’ it will die a long, slow death. Call our 24-hour bat rescue line immediately. Do not attempt to rescue the bat – a frightened bat will bite and scratch.

How to protect your fruit

The goal is to protect your fruit, not catch bats, so if you feel you must net, follow these guidelines:

  • Use white, multi-strand, knitted netting – it deters them as it is easier for bats to see
  • NEVER use black netting – bats can’t see it and are sure to get stuck.
  • Pull netting TIGHT as a trampoline – bats are less likely to get caught in tight netting

Other bat deterrents

  • Place a floodlight with a movement sensor on the tree. Bats will fly away when the light turns on.
  • Place chicken wire canopy over the tree – it will keep bats off your fruit, and they will not get stuck in it.

For more info about wildlife-friendly crop protection see:

Barbed wire entanglement

Barbed wire is responsible for the slow, agonising deaths of bats, gliders, birds and small marsupials such as wallabies.
If you see a bat on barbed wire, it will not ‘get itself out’ it will die a long, slow death. Do not attempt to rescue the bat – a frightened bat will bite and scratch. Cover it with a towel or sheet and call our 24-hour bat rescue line immediately.

Alternatives to barbed wire

  • Replace barbed wire with PLAIN wire!
  • If you must use barbed wire, place a white string or electrical tape along the top wire or attach reflective tages – bats will see it at night, and will not get caught.
  • Use an electric fence – a bat may get a shock, but will keep away in future!

Car Collisions

Many bats are hit by cars at night. If you hit a bat, or see a live bat on the road or in the gutter:

  • Remove it from the road to the gutter only if you can do so safely without getting bitten or scratched. NEVER use your bare hands as the stunned animal WILL bite or scratch you.
  • Don’t put a loose bat in your car, even if it appears unconscious. A bat that is stunned will soon regain consciousness and try to climb your arm or leg to get to safety.
  • Cover it with a box (put a weight on top), or towel and call our 24 hour bat rescue service immediately.
  • Advise us of the nearest landmark so we can find the bat. Stay with the bat if possible until a rescuer arrives.

Electrocution

Many bats are electrocuted on power lines every year. More often than not it will be a female and will have a young baby attached to her, especially from October to February. In most cases the baby will survive for up to a week on the mother’s decomposing body. If our team members and Energex can get the baby down in time, the baby can be raised and released.

It is important to call our bat rescue line ASAP:

  • Note the power pole number
  • Note approximate address of the bat.
  • Try to determine if there is a baby there by clapping your hands
  • loudly or ringing your phone. Baby (if well enough) will respond with a chitter.
  • Do not try to remove the bat yourself

Dog or Cat Attacks

Domestic pets are responsible for the deaths of thousands of native animals each year, including bats and flying foxes. Prevent your pets killing wildlife by locking your cats and dogs in a secure area away from trees and shrubs at night.

  • If you can, bring the dog or cat inside immediately.
  • Do not touch the bat – an injured bat will bite or scratch.
  • Call our 24 hour bat rescue service immediately.

What if my dog/cat had direct contact with a bat?

  • thoroughly check for bites/scratches – especially around the mouth and nose
  • rinse the bite/scratch with water and apply an antiseptic
  • seek VETERINARY advice and point your vet towards this resource: Queensland Government ABLV guidelines for Veterinarians
  • call BIOSECURITY QLD on 13 25 23 or the Emergency Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 for the most up to date recommendations
  • Call our bat rescue hotline on 0447 222 889 (Gold Coast Area) or the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) to have a trained carer sent out who can safely handle the bat. NEVER TOUCH A BAT or attempt to handle it yourself!

Bats are known to be a carrier of the Hendra Virus and the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), which both can pose a risk to the health of humans and pets. Although, to date, no dog or cat has contracted Hendra or ABLV directly from a bat, research is still being carried out to fully understand how both viruses are transmitted. Thus, if your cat or dog has been in direct contact with a bat, please urgently consult your veterinarian for advice. A post exposure VACCINATION against ABLV is available for cats and dogs and can be obtained through your vet. For more information and the most up to date research, visit the information from the Queensland Government as listed on the bottom of this page.

What to do if I got bitten or scratched by a bat?

The Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) is known to be transmitted from an infected, sick bat via a bite or deep scratch. Although being extremely rare, ABLV is related to rabies and can therefore cause a deadly disease if not treated instantly. A post exposure VACCINATION is available and is most effective when administered as soon as possible after the incident occured.

  • thoroughly rinse the bite/scratch with water and apply an antiseptic
  • seek urgent medical attention
  • report the incident immediately to Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • Call our bat rescue hotline on 0447 222 889 (Gold Coast Area) or the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) to have a trained rescuer sent out who can safely handle the bat. NEVER TOUCH A BAT or attempt to handle it yourself!

To date, there is no evidence for a direct transmission of the Hendra virus from a bat to a human. However, Hendra can be transmitted to humans from an infected horse. There is no risk of contracting ABLV or Hendra by living close to a bat colony or by bats visiting your backyard.

Why we need to be careful when getting in contact with bats

Bats are known to be a carrier of the Hendra Virus and the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), which both can pose a risk to the health of humans and pets. Research is still ongoing to fully understand how these diseases are transmitted and government recommendations regarding contact with bats are constantly changing as new information becomes available.
Thus, please consult the information provided by the Qld Government for the most up to date recommendations: