Did you know that Switzerland has 29 bat species, roosting in every canton, and in both rural and urban environments? Now that winter is over and these hibernating/migratory animals are soon to appear again in the night skies, you might discover one in your garden or a public space.
This was the case for me last fall, when I stepped into my garden and almost mistook a little brown lump on the ground for a leaf. It turned out to be a very tiny micro-bat, about the size of my thumb. It was clearly unwell, and was laying on its back, opening its tiny mouth to flash not-so-terrifying little teeth. I knew already never to touch one with bare hands, so I picked it up with a plastic fork, put it in a small Tupperware, and called SOS Chauves-souris.
SOS Chauves-souris has 8 regional centres across Switzerland, including one in Geneva (Grand-Lancy). I called on a Sunday morning, and about 40 minutes later, a woman drove up, ready to take the little one to the bat rehab facility located in Geneva’s Natural History museum (who knew?!). Before she drove away, she examined the bat (checking its wings and body for broken bones/obvious injuries), and it was fascinating for us to observe this wonderful animal up close.
Unfortunately our little bat didn’t survive in the end, it was having breathing difficulty and was unable to fly. However, by calling SOS Chauve-souris, we shortened its suffering and have learned to keep a close eye on the skies (and the ground) this coming summer in Geneva. If you happen to see a bat in distress in your neighborhood, the contact information for the Geneva center is below. All bat species in Switzerland are protected by law.
Cyril SCHONBACHLER et Céline ROCHET
CCO-Canton de Genève
c/o Julie Gyger
11 chemin des Rambossons
Tél: 022 736 80 80
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/
Oh my…SOS chauve-souris! What a wonderful thing to help these poor creatures. As if I needed another reason to love Switzerland!
Thank you for reading. We couldn’t agree more, SOS Chauves-souris is a wonderful organization that provides a lifeline for these animals. There is also an SOS Herissons (Hedgehogs). More to come in an upcoming post.
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