Not wishing to release him back into the concrete jungle and built-up area in which he was found, I used Google maps and discovered a river and woodland not far from the area. As Daubenton bats feed on insects above water courses I headed in that direction knowing that he would soon find his way back to his roost and familiar feeding grounds. It was a successful release. He was a lovely bat to care for and my first Dauby.
The study of wildlife behaviour and caring for animals in order for them to be reintroduced back into the wild, has given me so much pleasure. My wish, is that in some small way I have been able to reciprocate. On many occasions whilst spending blissful hours walking through woods and across meadows; I have often found myself in the company of various forms of wildlife including: deer, hares, birds and voles: foraging and just going about their normal daily activities. Sometimes these precious encounters have been at such close quarters - I've hardly dared to breathe. Precious moments that I will always treasure.
In 1996 I became a member of the Dorset Bat Group. I have since participated in bat surveys and counts for the Bat Conservation Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Vincent Wildlife Trust. Having been interested in bat welfare for so many years, I became a Registered Bat Rescuer & Carer in 2003. As a Registered Bat Carer I rescue orphaned and injured bats in order to care for them until they are ready to be released back into the wild.
Each year I also participate in nest and colony surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology. My husband and I also rescue any birds or mammals that are in need of a helping hand. The most recent being 3 orphaned Peachicks, a juvenile Sparrowhawk and a Tawny Owl.
The photos above are:
2003 - My Greater Horseshoe Bat artwork accompanying an article in the British Wildlife Magazine.
2006 - A wolf resting her head on my shoulder whilst I gave her a tummy rub, during a wolf walk at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust.
2016 - our rescued Tawny Owl.
2017 - our rescued Sparrowhawk
Over the years I have supported many conservation and animal welfare charities through voluntary work and donations.
Listed below are a few of the conservation groups supported through my artwork.
For the past 18yrs, I've also been a voluntary Registered Bat Carer. I care for rescued, orphaned pups (baby bats) and injured bats so that they can be released back into the wild. As my bat care work is voluntary, I rely on donations for bat food, medicines, heat mats, faunariums, and have recently re: built a much-needed 12 x 10ft bat flight in which to safely exercise my sky puppies. All rescues need to be test flown before being released to ensure they can fly well, manoeuvre quickly, hunt insects and support themselves back in the wild.
I have a special bat care page called 'Su's Sky Puppies' that contains info. and photos of my bat care work, and it is updated periodically with batty info. https://ko-fi.com/susanshimeld
Unlike other platforms, the hosts, Ko-fi, take 0% cut of any donations. All donations go directly to my 'Bat Care' PayPal account. I can assure you it is a safe page and a safe way to receive donations and messages of support for my bat care and rescue work.
1996/02 English Nature
2002 The Dorset Wildlife Trust
2003 The Born Free Foundation
2003 - Orangutan Foundation International U.K
2004 - Dorset Bat Group
2004 - The Labrador Lifeline Trust
2004 Orangutan Foundation International U.S.A
2005 J.R.Whippet Rescue - Reg. Charity No: 326479
2005 ARAS & German Shepherd Inn
2005 Greyhounds in Need - Reg. Charity No: 436845
2006 - The Barn Owl Trust - Reg. Charity No: 299835
2007 Vincent Wildlife Trust
2007 Jigsaw Cancer and Blood Disorders Appeal - Royal Bournemouth Hospital
2007 The Shawnee Mission Labrador Club - Kansas U.S.A
2007/8 Borneo Orangutan Survival U.K
2007/8 U.K Wolf Conservation Trust