Fly Free Tulip - A Little Black Flying Fox

by Gabi Friebe from Long Grass Wildlife Refuge and Bats Qld

flying fox

Tulip was an orphaned baby rescued from Esk. I got the call late afternoon and went to check. I saw the mother high up in a tree looking down and the baby was just hysterical. Seemed like a perfect reunite so I fed the baby, gave it a mumma roll tied to a branch where the mum could easily land and as I was on the way to Long Grass decided to leave the two to get together after dusk. The baby was calm by this stage and there was a helpful caller who would keep an eye on the situation who advised me that there was some altercation with dogs which is why they separated in the first place. 10pm I called to see if the mum was with bub. Sadly no and bub was screaming. Yes you guessed it back in the car for the trek to Esk to colect Tulip. Next day passing Esk on my way back to Batavia the mum was still up the tree fairly obviously injured by her altercation with the dogs and unable to fly. She had not moved. Such a sad situation but I was comforted slightly by knowing how pleased mum would be to not hear her baby screaming.  

Now back to the lactose story. During our extensive milk research the 2 milks that were suitable and trialled were 1st preference Wombaroo flying fox milk and 2nd goats milk with calcium syrup. Tulip was fed goats milk with calcium by her new mum along with her step sister. Step sister was fine but Tulip did not develop. We tried worming her, dose of antibiotics as poops were awful but nothing worked. No weight gain and no forearm growth. After 3 weeks Tulip was quite close to death and we decided between the carer and us to take her up to Oz zoo for an autopsy. Tulip came to Long Grass with crusty wings, white and black faeces and not a well baby at all. We gave her wombaroo flying fox milk as this was all we had as it would be 2 days until we could get her to the hospital. Lo and behold Tulip started to get better in ever so tiny steps. Needless to say she did not get taken to the zoo and is now in creche 2 just under weight for age. We are assuming that Tulip was lactose intolerant. Wombaroo flying fox milk is based on cows milk however Wombaroo fracture the casein and whey and affecting the fat molecule and lactose content of the milk. This is the first year Bats Qld have used Wombaroo Flying Fox milk and we are very happy with the results which including a bone scan of one bat showing wonderful bone development. Wombaroo Flying Fox milk is now the only milk recommended.

Gabi FriebeGabrielle Friebe has been wildlife carer for over 35 years and has rescued and rehabilitated countless animals and birds.

You can learn more about her work at:


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