Making banana smoothies for the furry flying mammals is one of the many tasks assigned to volunteers at the Tolga Bat Hospital. Situated in a Queensland forest valley, volunteers are needed all year round for a minimum of one month. Other tasks include trips to the rainforest to release or capture the bats.
Every year the volunteer run hospital rescues, rehabilitates and releases hundreds of bats that would otherwise die. While unvaccinated volunteers are accepted, volunteers must be vaccinated against rabies to handle the bats.
Sarah, a volunteer in 2012, described her experience on her blog: “Feeding is an absolute frenzy because the bats are so excited for their delicious fruit! We usually wear a cowboy hat and safety glasses to avoid getting pooped on. At night we go back in to top off milk bottles and make sure everyone is ok. It’s so crazy at that time that we often wear a rain poncho as well! Being a volunteer is a full time job, with cleaning usually beginning at 7 am and the last feeding checks being at 8:30 pm.”
Further information is provided by the Tolga Bat Hospital.
Other inexpensive places to volunteer with animals around the world can be found at https://www.jobsabroadbulletin.co.uk/free-or-cheap-volunteer-work-abroad/.
Image courtesy Jennifer Krauel.