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Bat Handling Gloves

14 July 2015

If you're up for becoming a Bat Man (or Bat Woman) and helping out our native bats, your safety is as important as that of the furry friends you want to protect. It has become a common misconception that gloves do not need to be worn while handling bats, with some people feeling that this paints what are generally docile creatures as disease-ridden menaces. Here at Safety Gloves, your safety comes first, and we fully agree with the Bat Conservation Trust when they say that personal protection does not need to compromise efforts to protect Britain’s bats.

Bat Immobile

Cute they may be, but bats are still wild animals and should be treated as such. For those who have reason to be handling bats due to the animal being injured and immobile, please be aware that the bat is likely in distress and liable to bite. Simply wearing a suitable glove can stop this animal emergency becoming a personal one too.

Rabies is the number one concern when it comes to bat handling. While rabies infections are not common and rarely fatal, rabies-related deaths are not completely unheard of, with the last rabies-related fatality in the UK occurring in 2003 after a bat handler was bit at work. Even though rabies is most commonly associated with dogs, just because you wouldn’t handle man’s best friend with gloves doesn’t necessarily mean you should treat the local wildlife with an equally relaxed mentality.

The Dark Night

With bats being nocturnal creatures, you’re not only braving the risk of bites but the night time cold. Our Supertouch Rigger gloves are ideal bat handling gloves, and are recommended by the Bat Conservation Trust. Providing not only physical safety in its fabric and cuff, an inner fleece liner also provides thermal protection to give your hands the freedom and comfort of movement without being held back by the cold.

While leather gloves can also offer protection and warmth, they are less ideal as durable gloves which need to be washed often or if you intend to handler larger species of bat as they may not offer adequate protection.

Bat-Loving Gloves

Your choice of glove should be based on the precise nature of your bat encounter as well as the size of the bat you are dealing with. A distressed bat should be handled with gloves that can protect against bites (bearing in mind that the teeth of larger bats are significantly sharper than smaller species) while a tamer animal can be handled with thinner, more flexible gloves.

In many instances you may find that wearing two different types of gloves on either hand may best suit your needs, with a heavier glove on the hand directly handling the subject and a thinner one of the hand that is examining or administering first aid. In cases when the bat is being carried e.g. to an ideal take-off area, a thicker glove should be worn on both hands.

Whether a committed helper of the bat or suddenly presented with a injured animal in need of help, hand protection should always be worn. Incorrectly approaching any bat handling situation could very possibly lead to an unhappy ending, all for the want of a glove! 

A range of gloves ideal for animal handling is available at our online store.