Native flying fox caught in barbed-wire fence

Lily, the flying fox, in the caring hands of her rescuers.

ARTIFICIAL hazards continue to prove dangerous for our native fauna, as discovered by Lily the grey-headed flying fox, who became entangled in a barbed-wire fence near Myall Quays estate last month.

So-named for the lily pond nearby her rescue, the furry flyer had evidently not seen the low, thin-wired fence that separates the Council-owned nature strip from the estate’s community space.

Travel WiseAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

One Myall Quays resident heard the bat’s screeches of pain early in the morning, which led to a timely call to volunteer group WINC (Wildlife In Need of Care).

According to Steve, president of the local community group, Lily was in distress for some time, and attempts to untangle the flying fox proved fruitless.

WINC’s nearest bat expert, Emma, drove all the way in from Dungog, at her own expense, to help disentangle Lily from the fence and take her into care.

“Emma from WINC was very good and knew exactly what she was doing,” Steve told NOTA.

The injuries included bad tearing of Lily’s wing membrane, as well as some exposed and damaged bones.

“Flying foxes like to swoop down for a drink before heading back to camp, and, contrary to popular opinion, flying foxes have good vision, but at that time of day, she just couldn’t see the barbed wire fence,” Emma told NOTA.

“Barbed wire is our worst nightmare, so removing it is ideal, otherwise putting up some white-coloured tape, tassels, or a pool noodle to enhance the fence’s visibility for bats,” Emma explained.

“Sugar gliders can get caught the same way.”

While some people may have an automatically negative prejudice towards bats and flying foxes, their critical role as frontline pollinators has been explored in NOTA, and, up close, these creatures have their own kind of beauty, not to mention, a clear intelligence, according to several carers.

Lily the flying fox is now in a care facility with other flying foxes in Cessnock, and is reportedly doing very well.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Leave a Reply