With more bats needing help, I have needed more equipment: heat mats, thermostats, food, and meds. I also needed more bat accommodation and being unable to afford the £200-300 cost of a new flex, I had to put my thinking cap on.
I dug out an old, damaged flex frame and mesh cover, from my early bat caring days. The mesh had been repaired, but parts of the tube frame were brittle and broken. I presented the pile of tubes to my dear husband, who then spent his day constructing this flexarium from plumbers’ plastic fittings and tubes. It is sturdy, safe, the mesh fits and it all works a treat! I couldn’t be more pleased.
I have placed a smaller faunarium next to it: and with one large heat mat, I can keep two enclosures warm, on the same thermostat. It is all a bit Heath Robinson but it means I don’t have to turn away a hungry, poorly or injured bat. Perfect!
Meanwhile, two of my Pipistrelles: Bella and Nipper, have been reluctant to fly and continually try to hide. When they do attempt to fly, neither stay airborne for more than a few seconds.
Initially, both were flown in my Puppy Playpen, and when the weather was fine; flew in my new mesh tent. It was a slow process, but once they had finally mastered flying from one side of the tent to the other, they were able to practice in the bat gym.
Both are making progress, albeit slow, and making good use of our new outdoor extension. It is so heartwarming to see my rescues each night slowly but surely gaining strength and improving. Some nights, it seems we are taking two steps forward and three back, but the good news is that they fly a little longer, stronger, and with more maneuverability each week. At present, two more bats are almost ready for release and am sure the work we did on our flight extension has helped them tremendously.