Like a Bat out of…Kyiv

16 April 2018

Bats are a regular feature in the capital’s night sky once the weather warms. But have you ever wondered what happens to them in the cooler winter months? There’s a group called Kyiv Animal Rescue Group that does what their name suggests. Rescuing bats that come out of hibernation most typically because of human interaction, one member of the group invited WO to meet and feed a group of these little winged creatures she had made her responsibility for the last month and a half.
While bats typically feed on beetles, flies, moths, and other insects (they’re really your best summertime friend), those living “at grandma’s house” and receiving the royal treatment are treated to live larvae wiggling around in a plastic take-out container. Dressed in a hoodie featuring none other than the Batman symbol when we arrive, “batgirl” feeds the larvae whole and headfirst. The little “flying mice”, as they are called in Ukrainian, take little time to gobble them up one by one. As they finish, the bats sniff and look around for the next. After three, they’re done, and put into a clean box for a little R&R.
Batgirl has six bats under her care this year and says it makes her sad that humans don’t take the time to understand that bats such as those found in eastern Europe are not dangerous, do not drink blood – like most believe, and are far more frightened of you than you are of them. The advice, if bat happens to fly into your home or apartment, is to carefully usher it out the door or window with a towel.
Batgirl at the time of publication will have already let her “pets” go for the year. “All the bats flew away,” she relayed. “I have no words to describe the feeling – I was so happy to see them flying!”

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