Bats will be spreading their previously-torn wings for Halloween after a new way of treating them was discovered at a Nantwich animal centre.

A bat carer at RSPCA Stapeley Grange wildlife centre, on London Road, found even the most dramatic of tears down the wing can heal if the animal is given care.

Sarah Goodwin  said usual veterinary techniques of stitching or gluing tears together could results in bats removing stitches or glue when grooming.

So she decided to care for bats with wing injuries by keeping them warm, giving them antibiotics and feeding them vitamin and mineral-rich food.

Sarah also restricted their flight and gave them time to rest and heal.

And in nearly all cases she found the wings could heal together by themselves.

“I just couldn’t believe how fast the wings grew back together,” she said.

“It was amazing. All they needed was a bit of rest and care and their wing membranes healed all by themselves – ready for them to fly back safely into the wild.”

The bats used in the “Heal to Fly” project were injured in various ways, including attacks from cats.

Of nine bats admitted with severe wing tears, five were returned to the wild, and two died from other injuries.

The remaining two are still in care. Sarah is hopeful they can be returned soon.

As they were all adults, it is hoped their chances of survival back in nature are high.

“We are all really excited by the results so far.

“They will have far reaching consequences to the way we and other bat carers care for bats and will give bats with such injuries a second chance.”

(pic by Wendy Northrop)

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