image of a cluster of big brown bats

Report Sick/Dead Bats

If you have found a live bat outside, or a bat hibernating in a building, consider contacting a local wildlife rehabilitation facility in addition to filing a sick/dead bat report.

*Please note: the department has placed a temporary restriction on new bat admission to wildlife rehabilitation facilities. However, you may still contact facilities for information about a live bat you have found.

If you find one or more sick and/or dead bats, please fill out the reporting form for electronic submission. If you are reporting five or more, the WDNR Wildlife Health Program may be interested in investigating for diseases and cause of death. Please consider collecting any freshly dead carcasses for this purpose. Carcasses that have been dead more than 12 hours are generally not useful. Do not collect carcasses if there is a noticeable odor or there are insects present.

If a person or domestic animal has been exposed to a bite, scratch, or saliva from a live or dead bat call the local public health department for further guidance regarding getting the bat tested for rabies and consult your physician or veterinarian. Bats for rabies testing should be refrigerated not frozen. If there was not a potential exposure as described, follow the guidance below:

image of a hibernating northern long-eared bat
Northern long-eared bat hibernating in a cave.
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This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.