This baby Cape Serotine Bat (Eptesicus capensis) and these, what seem to be baby Lesser Dwarf Shrews (Suncus varilla), are some of the new arrivals we had between Christmas and New Year. Got me thinking…..
How can we save things like the Rhino when we ignore all the smaller sentient beings that surround us in our own homes. These tiny mammals are some of the most fascinating and complex creatures in our natural world.
These Shrews weigh in at around 4 grams when fully grown and most babies are born around August to October. Litter size can be up to seven! They also do what is known as chain caravanning, where the babies will latch onto mom and each other when moving around. This Shrew lives for 24 to 30 months and forms part of the diet of the Barn owl among others.
This Bat weighs in at around 7 grams (females when fully grown), and often has twins which attach to the nipples and fly around with mom. Chiroptera (which in Greek means ‘hand-wing’), are the only mammals capable of true flight. They are insect feeders and can eat enormous amounts in an evening, far better control than any pesticide! Bats are a keystone species globally and things like wind turbines pose a massive threat to Bats.
It takes plenty of patience and effort in hand raising such tiny mammals. They feed every two hours and first need to be trained to feed from a syringe. They are weighed daily so we can keep an eye on their growth and health. They are kept on an electric blanket, and their enclosure is cleaned twice a day (sometimes more). All feeds are recorded every two hours as are their weights. Dedication, patience and perseverance is what is needed from the person caring for these animals.
All treatment of wildlife at FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is free of charge and we rely solely on the support of our community and corporate sponsors to fund our center.
So before you run out and save the Rhino, which probably does not run around your back yard, why not start right where you are?
So why all the effort on such a tiny being that has a short life span…..?
At FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, it’s how we do the small things that count…..
Fly far, fly free…..