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Hawaiian hoary bat
'Ope'ape'a (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
Hawaiian hoary bats are an endangered species and about which very little is known. Other then the Monk seal, this bat is Hawaii's only native mammal. On rare occasion, these bats have been spotted in the skies over Oahu and occasionally on Maui. They predominantly live on the Big Island, though, where they are frequently seen at the 1,000-foot elevation feeding at dusk or along the coast flying over the water's edge. They are known to vary feeding locations depending on season, possibly related to the hatching of the insects that they feed upon.
On August 16, 2002, a local Kona resident spotted this injured bat hanging from the trunk of a mango tree in her orchard. The bats are normally thought to roost in trees at about eye level, but this injured bat was resting only three feet off the ground, against the trunk of the tree.
The bat was tiny- he weighed only 15 grams (~ 1/2 ounce).. Smaller in size and in weight than other Hawaiian hoary bats that had been measured by researchers, although there are not a large number of animals which have been studied to compare it with. Because of its coloration (specifically, the lack of the traditional hoary white cape of a mature bat) and size, it was determined that this bat must be a juvenile. Known as "young of the year", it is believed that he may have his left mother only as recently as June.
wide open bat mouth showing large fangs and teeth view video segment from Hawaiian Moving Company episode
When we went to pick up this animals we realized that the bat had injured his left wrist and was unable to fly. His left wrist was triple the size of the right and there was a tiny wound at the joint.

His treatment here at the Sanctuary included initial emergency care, consisting of fluids and warming, a physical exam, and getting him to eat some high calorie foods and supplements. We also had assistance from the doctors at Ali'i Vet Clinic in Keauhou who were able to take an x-ray to assess his injured wrist. A course of antibiotics was also begun because of our concern over the wound over the injury site. Without treatment, this could lead to a life threatening infection.

A bat's wings are actually skin that is stretched between the "fingers" of its hand, somewhat like the webbing on a duck's foot. Imagine having your own arms drawn up so that your upper arms were alongside your body with your elbows pointing downwards towards your hips and your wrists up near your shoulder, palms facing forward and having webbed fingers 3 feet long. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see an appendage sticking out from the wrist. This is actually a THUMB. It is jointed much like our own and is used by the bat for climbing and grasping.

While we are caring for the bat during his rehabilitation, he is living in a special enclosure designed under the direction of Dr. Barbara French at Bat Conservation International. This enclosure provides a safe environment where the bat can crawl and climb without re-injuring the fragile wrist joint. The wrist joint is splinted using skin glue (donated by the Ali'i Vet clinic), which "glues" his fifth finger ("pinky") to his elbow. Immobilizing the movement of the joint this way keeps him from fully opening his wing, allowing the wrist to heal.

bat with mouth WIDE open Feeding the bat requires a complex diet, which we have created with direction from Barbara French. It consists of a blend of mealworms, baby food, eggs, vitamins and mineral supplements. The mixture is pureed into a mush that can be frozen and small amounts warmed as needed. This, however, makes up only a part of his diet. Since it is hopeful that he will be returned to the wild, we are trying to keep him eating the same insects that he had been catching on his own. That means moths. Lots of moths. As an additional source of protein, he also gets commercially grown mealworms that have been raised on a nutritious diet. He gets this combination of foods fed to him four times a day.