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Concern over Eastern Gardens bat colony

February 2, 2024 7:19 am in by
An injured Grey-headed Flying-fox at the shelter. (Image: Supplied - City of Greater Geelong).

There are concerns in the number of Grey-headed Flying-foxes being injured in Geelong’s Eastern Park over Summer.

Geelong Council says around 200 bats have needed treatment for malnutrition and falling from trees, while others have been caught in illegal fruit tree netting.

City volunteers say flying-foxes have been caught in illegal fruit tree netting, with many homeowners unaware of the ban on netting back in 2021, and it remains common in residential gardens.

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“This time of year, we see dozens of adult flying-foxes caught in illegal fruit netting,” local wildlife shelter operator and veterinary nurse Leila Merritt.

Wildlife carer Leila Merritt feeding Grey-headed Flying-foxes at her shelter. (Image: Supplied – City of Greater Geelong).

“Grey-headed Flying-foxes are an endangered keystone species that help regenerate our ecosystems,” she said.

“The community can help our flying-foxes by planting native flowering trees, using wildlife friendly fruit netting and sharing their fruit with our wildlife that desperately need it.”

Ms. Merritt is in care of 40 orphaned pups and several adult flying-foxes rescued from illegal fruit netting entanglements.

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Meantime, electronic signs have been placed along Eastern Park Circuit warning drivers and walkers to avoid the bat colony near the East Geelong Golf Club.

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