Bats waking up early from hibernation could starve, don’t touch them

Big brown bat
Brown bat

MADISON, Wis. — If you see a dazed bat outdoors, don’t touch it, but do take action because you could help save its life, wildlife rehabilitators said this week.

The Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center said some bats are coming out of hibernation early because of warming weather, and the center has received about six calls recently of people spotting bats on the ground alive, but unable to fly.

Eastern Red Bat

Eastern Red Bat

Paige Pederson, licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the DCHS Wildlife Center, said bats usually come out in April, but some bats are waking up because they can feel the temperatures warming up.

Bats that are coming out of hibernation now will be burning through their fuel resources faster, she said, but there are no insects for bats to eat right now. Pederson said the bats could starve to death.

If you spot a bat, don’t touch it with your bare hands. Instead, call animal control services or your animal wildlife rehabilitators, like the Wildlife Center at 608-287-3235.

The wildlife center has 74 bats in its care.