What should I do if you find an injured, sick or orphaned Flying-fox?

Public Health Authorities advise that the public should avoid direct contact with flying-foxes. There is always the possibility of being scratched or bitten. The NSW Wildlife Council Website provides public information on who to contact for wildlife rescues or you can call your local wildlife rescue service such as WIRES on 1300 094 737.

To find a wildlife carer in NSW, visit NSW licenced fauna rehabilitation groups here:

More Bat Rescue Organisations are listed on the 'Home' page.

Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) is only present in about 1% in the entire flying-fox population. Although ABLV infection is more common in sick, injured and orphaned bats and people are more likely to have contact with bats that are unwell or debilitated, as these bats may be found on or near the ground.

ABLV is transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal introduced via a bite or scratch or by contamination of mucous membranes or broken skin. In the event of a bat bite or scratch or other significant contact, seek medical attention immediately from your doctor or local hospital. 

Bite or scratch wounds should be immediately washed thoroughly with soap and water for approximately 5 minutes and a virucidal antiseptic applied. Bat saliva in the eyes or mouth should be rinsed out immediately and thoroughly with water.

ABLV is not spread via bat droppings or urine. Although ABLV is extremely rare (only 3 reported cases in Australia), never touch a flying-fox or insect-eating microbat. Always contact a  wildlife group who will have vaccinated people trained in the care of injured, sick or orphaned bats.

If a flying-fox is found on the ground, please put a container such as a washing basket or cardboard box over the animal to contain it. Restrain domestic pets and keep children away to minimise stress on the animal. 

Where there is no direct handling or contact with flying-foxes, the risk of disease transmission is non-existent.