Fall is a season of change. Grass goes dormant, leaves fall from the trees, and many animals seek warm shelters in which to spend the cooler days and nights safe from harm. Unfortunately, many animals, including bats, end up in piles of leaves beneath trees. For bats, the issue often is that they are roosting by one foot while resting the other, and then they let go, falling to the ground. If a pile of leaves has accumulated under their roosting spot in the tree, they land on a convenient mattress and burrow down inside it rather than expending the energy to climb back up the tree. That's when things go sideways. We humans are compelled to rake up all those leaves as we attempt to restore some semblance of order. Bats like Oakley the eastern red bat (pictured above) are caught by surprise and may be injured before they are discovered.
Oakley has sustained damage to both wings, as well as a severe injury to his chest. We're doing everything we can for him but the outcome is far from certain. Please take a few minutes to check for napping wildlife before beginning to rake up fallen leaves. For them, we thank you!