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Patient of the Week: 10/27/23

Halloween Decorations / Bats

With Halloween right around the corner, spooky decorations are popping up all over Tucson. However, it is not the ghosts and black cats giving Tucson Wildlife Center a scare — it is the fake spider webs. These stretchy nets can pose a hazard for birds and small mammals — especially, those that are most active at night when this decoration is hardest to see, like bats. 

Insects easily get stuck in the netting and then bats can get stuck as well when trying to feed. As they struggle to break free, they can get tangled in the web, sometimes cutting off circulation or causing wounds. TWC would like to remind everyone that if you discover a bat, or other animal, caught in one of these webs, do not try to untangle the victim on your own. Call TWC for advice on next steps.

On a side note, you may be wondering why bats are associated with Halloween. There are many theories including the fact that the world’s only flying mammal gives many humans a flutter of fear when they are flying about at night … and Halloween is traditionally about darkness and fears. But although some may consider them creepy enough to be associated with Halloween, nectar-feeding bats (like our little dehydrated lesser long-nosed patient) are heroes of the night sky in the Sonoran Desert. They are the primary pollinators of the saguaro and organ pipe cactus, making them indispensable to the desert ecosystem (

So, as you prepare for Halloween, be mindful of the decorations you are putting in your yard and help keep wildlife safe this spooky season. TWC would like to thank Wildlife Care Specialist, Kathy, for sharing her cool “under the bridge” bat video and former volunteer, Pam, for letting us use her wonderful photo of a bat “trick-or-treating” early at her hummingbird feeder.

If you would like to help patients like this lesser long-nosed bat, please click the donate button below.

Another way you can contribute is to visit our “wish list” on Amazon by clicking on the Amazon Wish List button below. We appreciate it, as will all the wild animals in our care!

This week there are two videos (first two images) and two pictures of the bats.

Watch this short video of the lesser long-nosed bat.
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