Wildlife carer Christine our resident batwoman

Christine Wynne is batty for flying foxes! The Bundaberg woman has been caring for the injured mammals for 18 years. Video: Morgan Everett

Meet Bundaberg's resident batwoman and flying-fox whisperer, Christine Wynne, who has been looking after injured bats for 18 years.

Hanging upside down in an enclosure at the back of Christine Wynne's garden is a silent, nocturnal army.

Their tiny eyes stare curiously as she walks through the space with some delicious fruit in her hand.

The small creatures slowly make their way over to her, excited at the prospect of some more food so early in the day.

“They don't usually get fed at this time; they are probably thinking ‘what is this crazy woman doing?'” she laughed.

President of Queensland Wildlife Carers and Volunteers, Christine is the Bundaberg Region's self proclaimed “flying fox whisperer”.

Right now, the Bundaberg woman has more than 40 flying foxes in her care and she said the animals had a very caring nature.

“They range from about seven months old and, some of them are adults, up to 10 years old,” she said.

President of the Qld Wildlife Carers, batwoman Christine Wynne with some of the bats she is caring for.
President of the Qld Wildlife Carers Christine Wynne with some of the bats she is caring for.

“They are very affectionate animals. A lot of people think they are smelly and horrible but they are not.

“They are quite clean because they groom themselves like cats and dogs.

“They are intelligent and they all have differently personalities.”

Batwoman Christine said she first became interested in the mammals due to the lack of bat carers in the region.

“I also look after microbats, possums, birds and macropods but mainly flying foxes,” she said.

“Most of the flying foxes come in due to being entangled on barbed wire.

“Sometimes they might hit some power lines.”

Healing time

Batwoman Christine Wynne with one of the bats she is caring for.
President of the Queensland Wildlife Carers Christine Wynne with one of the bats she is caring for.

Christine said a single bat could be in her care for a few months before being fully healed from their injuries and released back into the wild.

“I give them pain medication and bathe their wings with an antibiotic solution, I also use a gel to keep the wings moist,” she said.

“It takes a few months for the membrane to heal and once that happens and they can fly okay, they will be released.”

Crazy for fruit

Christine said the Queensland Wildlife Carers organisation was run by volunteers and relied heavily on donations from the community or grants.

She said she spends her own money to feed the bats in her care, which equates to about 30kg of fruit per night.

Qld Wildlife Carers and Volunteers Association Inc.

“The bats are a bit spoilt; they get banana smoothies, fruit juice and all different varieties of fruit,” she said.

“Each bat will eat at least 400 grams or more of fruit in a day.

“They eat quite a lot.”

What to do with injured wildlife

“If its a flying fox, don't touch it, call me straight away,” Christine said.

“Any other animal, if it is injured they can be taken to the vet free of charge or just call me.”

The Queensland Wildlife Carers and Volunteer Association can be contacted on 4159 6431 or 0439 502 228.

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