July 16, 2012 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I have a (furry, adorable) bat clinging to the outside of my living room window and I am not sure what to do.

Yesterday I noticed this guy (pic 2 here) outside my window. It doesn't look like he's moved since yesterday. When I got home last night he was still there, even though it was dark and I assumed he would be out snacking on bugs. This morning I tapped gently on the window and he didn't even flinch. Is he...dead? Should I call my landlord and tell him I need help moving a corpse? Animal control?

PS: I am not planning on touching him or trying to open the window or anything.
posted by janepanic to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd leave him alone. If he's dead, he'll drop and then you or someone else or nature will dispose of the remains. Animals have been living and dying without human intervention for centuries.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:06 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, poor little bat.

Animals do die of natural causes. We had a squirell give it up by our mailbox. Husbunny disposed of him for me with the help of a shovel and a box.

We rarely see that sort of thing though. If your bat friend is indeed dead, Ideefixe has nailed how that would appear.

You don't really want to handle these guys because of parasites and diseases and whatnot.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:11 AM on July 16, 2012

If it's still there tomorrow you might as well call animal control. If it's ill in some way you don't really want it to be around.
posted by elizardbits at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Another vote to leave him alone. He'll either drop off dead or fly away at some point.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:13 AM on July 16, 2012

Maybe 12-13 years ago a bat stuck himself to the outside wall of our office building (brick) right next to a window. I took some photos and emailed a bat guy I found via whatever the popular search engine was at the time. He said it was a little brown bat (which yours also looks like) and that they sometimes will stop for a longish rest during their migration (They shouldn't be migrating right now though, only in Spring or Fall). He could also be sick or old. But whatever the case was, just leave him alone.

Our bat eventually just wasn't there one morning. I went down to the street to see if he had fallen and didn't find anything. So either he flew away or fell and was cleaned up / scavenged.
posted by rocketpup at 8:20 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Bats, even dead ones, are very dangerous. The CDC has some tips about removing dead bats, which starts with "Call Animal Control." AC can tell you if there are known rabies/otherterribledisesases carried by bats known to be in the area.
posted by Flamingo at 9:22 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, just leave it be. Unless its presence is getting in the way of a crucial need to open the window or something... but I'd guess it will fly off on its own given a little time. Definitely do not handle it yourself.
posted by Eicats at 9:45 AM on July 16, 2012

nthing definitely do not handle. When I lived in Austin, one summer it had been particularly hot and dry and there were a couple of reports on the news about how someone had picked up a dead or sick bat and needed to go for a full series of rabies shots.
posted by kaybdc at 10:05 AM on July 16, 2012

Thanks for all of your advice so far. I checked on him again and in the last hour or so he turned himself around in the window, so he's not dead (just resting?). I'm just going to wait him out for now.
posted by janepanic at 11:15 AM on July 16, 2012

Animal Control will want to know about the bat. You should call them.

I say this as an avowed bat lover who knows what they are likely to do if they suspect the bat is sick.
posted by batmonkey at 1:50 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bats are awesome (glad to hear yours is still alive). Bats have tendons in their legs, arranged such that a pull on their legs causes their paws to grip. When a bat is hanging upside down the weight of the bat pulling down is what keeps it gripping to the ceiling at zero cost to the bat. The bat will likely not fall off should it die, or at least not until some decay has set in. If it dies the first sign is more probably going to be a smell or insects or possibly something coming along and eating it, rather than it falling off.

But yeah, aside from not touching it, if you have any household pets keep them well away from it, too (especially cats, since bats are mice with wings and extra fun).
posted by anaelith at 3:54 PM on July 16, 2012

I'd call animal control. You'd feel bad if, like, the neighbor's kid's cat came over and tussled with it and got zombieaidsrabies whatever.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:15 PM on July 16, 2012

So, I called a local humane wildlife rescue organization. Unfortunately because he is technically "outside" (even though I can reach down through the gap in the frame and tickle him*) they aren't able to help me. He is not currently in the window, but if he comes back I will see what the regular SPCA says.

*I promise I will not actually do this
posted by janepanic at 12:23 PM on July 17, 2012

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