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How to Train a Bat

Categories: Animals, Keeper Profile

Earlier this year, Primary Bird Keeper Carolyn Volpe embarked on a whirlwind two-day training adventure at the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Florida. The bat training workshop was attended by zookeepers from around the United States, as well as animal rehabilitators interested in bat care.

Carolyn, who happens to love bats due to the social dynamics and interactions of the flighted mammals, spent the time taking in as much information as she could. During the two days, her knowledge of bat diets, how to train for voluntary blood draws for heath checks, nail trims, enrichment and social needs grew exponentially. Prior to the trip, Carolyn and other zookeepers were already training the bats at the Sacramento Zoo to climb on a scale for weighing and visual body condition checks, making it easier to continually asses their overall health. At the workshop she picked up some new tips on other ways to engage the bats in voluntary training. Carolyn is hopeful that after the Zoo’s colony of 20 bats, some more eager than others, have mastered getting on the scale, they will then enthusiastically begin crate-training which will allow for a less stressful transportation method to the veterinary hospital when needed.

Continuing education for zookeepers and other Zoo staff helps us give the best care possible to all of the Zoo’s residents and helps us stay up-to-date on the most current animal conservation news and needs.