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:
- Do not attempt to collect a live bat (contact your local DNR office to get advice on local services available for assistance if removal of the bat is required).
- If you are not sure if it is dead, do not handle it.
- If you are certain it is dead it can be safely collected by either wearing gloves or by putting your hand into a plastic bag and using it as a glove and then inverting the plastic bag around the carcass.
- You can then do one of the following with the bagged carcass:
- put it in a freezer;
- put it in a leak proof container with ice to keep it cool;
- if outside temperatures are cool (below 45°F), place it in a sealed container to prevent scavenging by other animals.
- Wash or discard the gloves and wash your hands with soap and water.
- Indicate in the comments section that you have collected one or more carcasses. DNR staff will contact you as soon as possible about the carcasses, but if you have questions or concerns contact your local DNR office.