Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

Every Friday, the fine folk over at The Daily Post issue a weekly photo challenge. This weeks challenge is Together. 

This should be a simple challenge for most of you – find a picture of people or things which are together in your picture. Share a picture that means TOGETHER to you! 

I have shared this photo before in various bat related articles, so if you have seen it before, my apologies. These two orphaned Grey Headed Flying Foxes came into my care during the 2007 season as young babies – a week or two old at most. They were unrelated, and found a few days apart. The male (slightly to the front, larger animal) was named Arnie and was a confident young bat who would love a snuggle, but was just as happy to explore his environment. He developed within the normal expected stages, and was released in due course to live the life of a wild bat. The younger female was named Alyssa and was so incredibly traumatised from being separated from her mother that she would scream with fear if she was not clinging to Arnie or myself. Her story is the mirror opposite of Arnies’.

How Arnie became separated from his mother is a bit of a mystery, but I will never forget Alyssas’ story. Her mother had come to rest on power lines and sadly had suffered a fatal electrocution. Alyssa received burns to her mouth and although she did not die, she showed symptoms of electrocution also. Unfortunately, Alyssas’ mother died instantly on the power lines with Alyssa clinging to her dead mothers body. It took her two days to lose grip on her dead mothers body and to fall to the ground. She was starving, covered in maggots and exhaustion. She had climbed on a fence out of instinct when the local home owner noticed her. The home owner was entertaining house guests and had related to them how he hated bats and couldn’t wait for the thing to die. Surely they were diseased, and stunk. She was, after all, covered in maggots. The guest was horrified and called WIRES for help. Alyssa was named after the woman who took pity on her and called for help, a sign of my gratitude and respect.

I’ve had “clingy” bat pups in the past, but its a stage that they normally grow out of. That wasn’t the case with Alyssa. Her physical and emotional scaring was so evident. She was so nervous and scared and exceptionally needy. It took her the longest time to settle down and even then, she was unlike any other bat I’ve known. Eventually, she was released with the other orphans and I often wonder how she is coping in the wild.

In this photo, she annoyed Arnie so she could climb into his wings for cuddles. I have never seen anything like it. I’ve shared this photo with other bat carers’ around the country who all express the same amazement. Alyssas’ story is so sad and moving that it has to be shared. Our impact on the animals around us is massive – we need just open our eyes and look.

Grey Headed Flying Foxes are an endangered species endemic to Australia. You can read more about flying foxes here.

For my regular readers, the photo on my food blog Rhiannas’ Guide to Ethical Eating is different from the post here! Enjoy!

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About Rhianna

Rhianna is a wildlife ecologist who is currently in the final year of an Environmental Sciences degree. She has a keen focus on living a sustainable, ethical lifestyle which is reflected in all aspects of her life. Of herself, Rhianna says: "I am a happily married 40 something mother of two. I have dark hair, olive skin, and brown eyes. The rest is subject to change without notice."
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19 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Together « Rhianna's Guide to Ethical Eating

  2. Pingback: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : TOGETHER. « 2012 – ON THE BENCH

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  4. Closeness and together! Perfect picture for the theme! Thank you for pingback! :)

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Together | Blog Kemaren Siang

  6. So cute. They are like a family hugging. Great take on the theme, I can feel the closeness.

    • Rhianna says:

      Thank you. As cute as it is, its actually because of Alyssas trauma that they were capable of this. Its unheard of amongst human raised bats to be like this.

  7. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey Together | Junior Highschoolers’ Journey Together | Blog Kemaren Siang

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Together | Wind Against Current

  9. ailsapm says:

    Oh these guys are so sweet. Great photo!

    • Rhianna says:

      Raising bats has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. They are so full of personality and rather special to work with. They have the thinking power of a 3yo human and the amusement power of 10 x Charlie Chaplin’s.

  10. Amazing photo and even more amazing story! Great post.

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  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands | The Environmental Rhi-Source

  15. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands « Rhianna's Guide to Ethical Eating

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