Ukrainian Wildlife Volunteers Who Stored Hibernating Bats In Fridges During Shelling Released Them

Ukrainian volunteers from wildlife charities who had to store hibernating bats in their kitchen fridges during Russian bombing have freed them.

The Bats Ukraine team had to find a way to keep the creatures cool and dark so that their hibernation wouldn’t be prematurely interrupted, while the shelling continued in Kharkiv.

This week they began their mission to free 93 of the rescued bats, which they recovered from a construction site in Dnipro during the Russian invasion.

Videos show numerous small bats released by the team, while haunting air raid sirens can be heard in the background.

A spokesman for the relief team said, “Immediately after we left the office, our town was heavily shelled.

“But we are safe and sound and have taken care of our bats in rehabilitation.

“Now that the warm weather has finally arrived, we are releasing groups of bats every evening this week – they will easily find their way to the nearest forests.

“No living thing is safe in this part of Ukraine right now.

“But for our bats, this is the best option – to fly and live.”

Noctule bats recently awoke for spring after hibernating due to trauma in refrigerators.

Since waking up, they have been fed to regain weight and strength before being released.

The Bats Ukraine team will launch dozens of rescue bats over the next few days.

It has rescued over 3,000 bats this winter, thanks to its team of volunteers, vets and biologists – and is the only emergency bat rescue charity in Ukraine.

You can support the charity by donating at or see more of their work at @bats_ukraine on Instagram.


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Karl M. Bailey