We received a call from a homeowner in Denver who had found a bat. From the description of the animal, it sounded like
a Hoary Bat. This species is common to Colorado during the summer only, but after September 15th., they are usually
on their way to South America. It is unusual to receive this species in the facility. The call came on Sept. 18th; this
animal still being in town was a surprise to us. They are a large bat, weighing about 32 grams and are a beautiful brownish
gray, with copper color around their face and ears.
Unfortunately, the homeowner also called Denver Animal Control (DAC). The Officer arrived while we were on the phone, giving
the homeowner directions to our facility. We talked to the Officer and he was willing to let us take the bat. We hung up,
thinking we had it all arranged. We were drastically mistaken. The Officer had contacted his supervisor after talking to us and was
instructed to bring the bat to DAC for euthanization. The homeowner called us after the Officer had left.
We asked some detailed questions of the homeowner and found that this animal had been hanging from a tree limb, minding his own
business. The homeowner thought the bat was in trouble and wrapped him in his shirt and carried him home, hobo style. The human
never came into contact with the bat and was not bitten. To kill this animal was unnecessary and barbaric.
When we contacted Dr. Pei of DAC, he planned to kill the bat when it arrived. We were outraged. We immediately called his
supervisor and got nowhere. So, we called the Mayor of Denver. We were referred to Sterling Drumright, who oversees
DAC. When we explained the situation, we were told that he would talk to Dr. Pei.
Dr. Pei was very rude to us each time we talked to him and we had little hope of saving this animal. He surprised us later
that afternoon by stating that he would release the bat to us. We immediately drove to DAC. While Jack Murphy filled out the
paperwork and answered all of their questions, Penny Murphy got possession of the bat and immediately left the building. She
examined the bat in their truck and found that it was indeed a Hoary bat and the animal was close to death. DAC did not
puncture enough holes in the coffee can the animal was in and he was suffocating (per the homeowner, the Officer had taken
the bat in the can without furnishing any air holes, it must have been done shortly before we arrived.) We took him to the
facility right away and administered fluids and hoped for the best. The big fellow came around a few hours later and is doing
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