An animal care group is trying to save a group of bats caught in a glue trap that had been stationed in an Abbotsford barn.
Six bats, still on the trap, were taken to the Burnaby-based Wildlife Rescue Association of BC, where workers attempted to free the struggling animals.
The bodies of the bats were smeared in a sticky goo and several had sustained injuries. Workers managed to free the bats, but one that had lost a foot while trying to escape died soon after arrival. Another sustained an unrepairable wing injury was euthanized.
The surviving bats were cleaned in a process that took four hours and are now recovering.
Wildlife Rescue say that it regularly treats animals that inadvertently get caught in sticky traps. The glue trap from the Abbotsford barn was intended to catch flies.
“The traps are indiscriminate and cause suffering to bats and other non-target animals such as chickadees, hummingbirds and even owls,” the group said in a press release. The Abbotsford bat case is one of the worst such cases, however.
“When I first heard that there were six bats on a sticky trap my heart just sank,” said Linda Bakker, Wildlife Rescue’s team leader of wildlife rehabilitation. “When they came in they were struggling and obviously distressed and it was just heartbreaking to see. It is just so unnecessary and I hope people see this and think twice before they put out a sticky trap where it can harm wildlife.”
Members of the public who find animals on a sticky trap are urged to leave the animal in the trap, place it in a ventilated box, and deliver it to Wildlife Rescue. The facility also operates a seven-days-a-week helpline at 604-526-7275.