Orphaned baby flying foxes find a new home… with their own blankets, bottles and DUMMIES

  • The tiny babies are being cared for at a special flying fox nursery in Melbourne, Australia
  • Just weeks old, all lost their mothers and are being raised by volunteers
  • When strong and old enough, the babies will be returned to their colony

By Alex Ward

These adorable baby flying foxes are orphans but they’ve been hanging out in a new comfy home with their own blankets, bottles and dummies.

The tiny Australian natives are being cared for at a special flying fox nursery at Wildlife Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

Just weeks old, all have lost their mothers to various accidents such as being electrocuted while flying into power lines.

These orphaned fly foxes are being cared for by volunteers who are refilling formula bottles, rotating dummies (pictured in their mouths) and swaddling them in blankets until they are old enough to rejoin their colony

Tucked up tight: These orphaned fly foxes are being cared for by volunteers who are refilling formula bottles, rotating dummies (pictured in their mouths) and swaddling them in blankets

Wildlife Victoria volunteers are helping to keep them safe and healthy until they are old enough and strong enough to return to their colony.

 

The volunteers are working round the clock to refill formula bottles, rotate dummies and swaddle them in blankets to help them feel secure.

These babies, just weeks old, all lost their mothers to various accidents such as being electrocuted while flying into power lines

Safe and sound: These babies, just weeks old, all lost their mothers to various accidents such as being electrocuted while flying into power lines

Imitate nature: Rescuers gave the babies dummies to imitate natural behaviour
flying fox babies

Imitate nature: Rescuers give the babies dummies to imitate their natural instinct to suckle to their mother's underarm nipple. During their first weeks of life, babies are completely dependent on their mothers and so share a very tight bond with them

Baby flying foxes have a very strong bond to their mother and are completely dependent on them in the first few weeks of life, clinging constantly to them for food, security and warmth. They are flightless at this time.

Rescuers often give babies dummies to imitate their natural behaviour suckling to their mother's underarm nipples.

The older orphans are also getting practice hanging on cables in the nursery.

The city of Melbourne has a flying fox population of around 6,000 – which can swell to more than 30,000 over summer when babies are born.

The babies will be cared for at the special flying fox nursery until they are old enough and strong enough to return to their colony

Until they're ready: The babies will be cared for at the special flying fox nursery until they are old enough and strong enough to return to their colony

When they are fully grown, flying foxes - Australia's largest bat - fly up to 31 miles every night in search of food

When they grow up: When they are fully grown, flying foxes - Australia's largest bat - fly up to 31 miles every night in search of food

The bats fly up to 31miles (50 km) every night in search of food and disperse up to 60,000 seeds during their journey.

Their numbers have been decreasing in the neighbouring Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland which has led to a rising population in Victoria. Projects to plant more native trees in Melbourne and surrounding areas over the last 30 years has also attracted the bat species.

The flying fox is the largest bat living in Australia and grow to have an average wingspan of 1metre (3.2ft).

Adult flying foxes grow to have an average wingspan of one metre (3.2ft)

Fully grown: Adult flying foxes grow to have an average wingspan of one metre (3.2ft)

The comments below have not been moderated.

As an Aussie here in the UK nice to see my little animals are taken care of, makes me proud!

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Cute now but when they get older, loose their wings, grow longer legs and start to terrorise neighbourhoods it wont be cute. A fox is a fox.

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I would like to suggest that you read up on flying foxes. They are called flying foxes because their faces resemble those of foxes. Their wings to not fall off and they do not terrorize neighborhoods. A bat is a bat and a fox is a fox and never the twain shall meet. Also, it's better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

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A bat is a bat and a fox is a fox and never the twain shall meet. They are called flying foxes because their faces resemble those of a fox. Their wings do not fall off and they do not terrorize neighborhoods. Better to appear the fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

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Tooooooo cute

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Awwh I want one!

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Too cute! X

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Flying foxes are pretty disgusting really. They have taken over parks so there is nothing left on the trees but those big bats hanging from them and nothing on the ground but bat poo.

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Oh and birds don't poo all over the place and /or drop poo on your head??/

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What cuddly little cutie. You are safe now.

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I'm glad they were helped!

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Beautiful photos! So nice to see a positive article about a much misrepresented and misunderstood yet highly important species (all animals are important). Keep up the good work!

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Etherglide of horsham - It's not their fault that their poor mum died, it's time you start opening your eyes on the welfares of all life on Earth as we do needs nature to keep the planet alive, they needs donations largely based because of darn humans' action e.g. pylons, abuses, power to end the suffering of wildife/domestic pets and education to people like u. Your negative attitude's contrived by sitting behind the screen so 'bout time u get ur backside off and learn about real life - necessarily!

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