Occasionally, overheating causes a colony to jostle for the coolest spots and pups get dislodged and fall out, or a predator gets in and causes a disruption. In 'natural' colony spaces, pups can climb back into the colony and reunite with mothers. However, building and bat box colonies often leave no way for fallen pups to return. If you find pups down under a known colony you can return them using a pool skimmer. If pups continue to fall, pup catchers often solve the problem.
But sometimes a mother bat does not return to the colony. Pups that are thin and dehydrated or that are found wandering are probably orphans and can be rehabilitated by trained wildlife rehabilitators.
Adult bats can get in trouble and sometimes need rescue. Grounded bats are not always sick - they get hit by cars, blown into walls, dropped by predators, get too cold or wet, get torn or broken wings, get trapped in buildings, etc., etc. If no one has been bitten and if potential rabies exposure is ruled out, injured and displaced bats can also go to qualified rehabilitators.
For other regions in Virginia, please visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website for a list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators by county, or use the great new phone app or website from Animal Help Now.
Bat World Sanctuary maintains a national list of bat helpers; click here for more information.
Bat rescue is for adults only. Please find an adult to help with any bat. Please do not touch the bat!
Please do not handle bats with bare hands or allow children or pets access to bats or other wildlife.
Safely Containing a Bat
If you have found a bat that you think needs help and that has not bitten or scratched a person or domestic animal, please watch this video to learn how to safely contain it for transport to a wildlife rehabilitator.