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Totally Batty: Tel Aviv woman opens up her home to wounded fruit bats

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A Tel Aviv woman with a passion for bats has turned her home into a makeshift sanctuary, becoming what many are calling a “Batwoman.” Animal activist Nora Lipschitz was profiled by Haaretz.com for the work she’s done to help save an unprotected species of fruit bat in Israel. Sadly, while carnivorous bats are protected in Israel, their single species of fruit bat does not reap the same benefits, and are considered pesky. As we all know, fruit bats combine two of the best things in the world: super excitable birds and foxes! Okay, maybe not literally, but bats are fascinating creatures who have earned their place in the mammalian spotlight. After all, mother bats have to breastfeed upside down- how badass is that?

Since fruit bats can damage some crops, farmers have in the past used fatal methods of pest control to try to protect their fruits, but this has become frowned upon in a rapidly vegan-izing Israel, and techniques such as large nets are seen as a better alternative to keeping bats away from food. People bring their bats to Lipschitz because her mission travelled by “word of mouth” after she worked closely with wildlife veterinarians to save her first few rescues. Some of her bats are victims of animal testing, which might surprise those who didn’t know bats could be tested on. Fruit bats living in urban areas might be attacked by exterminators who are sent in to destroy entire colonies.

While most of the bats are released back into the wild, some have completely lost their ability to fly and enjoy refuge with Lipschitz. She is “trying to establish a permanent shelter, successfully fundraising 60,000 shekels ($15,300),” via crowdfunding so she can move the bats out of her house and into an established refuge in central Israel.

Apart from simply having a facility, fruit bats need to eat a lot of fresh fruit, so we’re happy to see so much support for Nora Lipschitz and her batty mission.

Photo credit thanks to Tomer Appelbaum.

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