Motivated we started with 2 events in January 2020: We campaigned for agriculture without pesticides at the big demonstration “We're fed up” in Berlin and had an information stand about bats at the Hanover film premiere of the film “The Secret Life of Trees”. At the beginning of the year, three school classes were also given a lesson about bats and, to their great enthusiasm, the kids had the opportunity to look directly into the bats‘ black eyes.
Of course, the first bat patients reached our station in January. Then we started thinking about the organization of our event "European Batnight" in Hanover. But everything turned out differently ... Due to the coronavirus weh ad to rise up with big challenges. One event after the next had to be canceled. Our care and emergency teams had to be separated and work alone, no longer in a team. The handover of injured bats had to be switched to a contactless handover. All communication was switched to WhatsApp and telephone, as team meetings were not possible. We were only able to welcome a few new volunteers in our group under strict hygiene requirements. At the same time, we expected a large number of questions from concerned people whether the virus can be transmitted by bats. However, these quetsions didn’t reach us, because apparently the people did not let themselves be alarmed - perhaps thanks to the broad public relations work of the bat protection groups, which clarified at all levels that the corona virus cannot be transmitted from native bats to humans. So we had one less worry, but we were mainly concerned about the significantly larger number (compared to previous years ) of weakened or injured plecotus bats that reached our station. This is very unusual and it remains to be clarified in the future whether this is a negative trend or just an unfortunate exception. Overall more than 400 bats reached our station in 2020. Fortunately, we were again able to release a very large number of bat patients in good health.
Certainly due to the prohibition of contact, our vet's online inquiries and consultations were increasing. Fortunately more and more vets are now taking part in bat care, sending photos and getting advice on the treatment of bat patients. The network of veterinary colleagues who not only euthanize injured bats but treat them is slowly expanding.
You are also welcome to take a look at our annual review in pictures on our YouTube channel: youtu.be/-k94S1jcAdQ
We would like to thank all of our volunteers who work tirelessly for the bats even in this difficult time. We would also like to thank all donators and bat-godparents and all people who share our information in conversations or on our social media channels. Please stay connected to the bats in 2021 - How you can help bats in a variety of ways, see here: https://www.bund-fledermauszentrum-hannover.de/mitmachen-oder-helfen/take-action/
We wish you a good start into the New Year.
Your Bat Conservation Team FOE Germany Hannover
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