USDA/APHIS: Rescue Echo the Baby Fruit Bat From a Life of Solitary Confinement
Imagine you are a baby and you were ripped away from your mother before you were even fully weaned. Alone and frightened, you are then sold to a person who knows nothing about your species or how to take care of you. You have the incredible freedom of flight but you can’t fly because you live in a small wire cage inside a house with numerous other exotic animals in small cages. You have no friends or family members to keep you company. You crave the companionship of your own kind, but most of all you crave the mother who you will never see again.
This is the reality of “Echo” the baby fruit bat who was sold to Lisa Limbert, of Lisa's Creatures. She is yet another victim of the exotic pet trade. Echo was purchased from Scott Heindrick, who runs the Flying Fox Conservation Fund, an exotic pet trade business allegedly operating under the guise of conservation.
The HSUS believes the exotic pet trade business is second only to black market drugs and weapons. In the United States, breeders and sellers market these poor animals via the internet and in trade magazines. It is a $15 billion dollar business in the U.S. alone. Most of these animals find their way to being someone’s “pet”, or entertaining the masses in an animal circus or road side zoo. Bat like Echo, who have a life span of 25 years, rarely last over a year in these conditions.
Bat World Sanctuary and other bat groups have reached out to Lisa Limbert in an attempt to educate her regarding the issue of cruel confinement and proper diet for Echo. We offered to find a permanent home for Echo, one that would allow Echo to live and have the space to fly, play, sleep and eat with other bats of her kind. Sadly, all attempts to help Echo have been refused. It is not only Echo’s health and well being that are in danger. Echo's continued cruel confinement may pose a potential health hazard and other liabilities associated in housing a flighted bat inside a home. Because Echo will also suffer mentally, she will likely develop a propensity for biting anyone who attempts to handle her. Lisa Limbert allegedly intends to use Echo in educations programs involving children.
Lisa Limbert is currently in violation of USDA regulations Subpart F: "Species that fly must be provided with sufficient unobstructed enclosure volume to enable movement by flying and sufficient roosting space to allow all individuals to rest simultaneously."
Bat World and other bat groups are encouraging state and federal agencies to remove Echo from Lisa's Creatures and place her with an accredited sanctuary that can provide her with the life she needs and deserves.
Photo Source: facebook.com/lisascreatures.
- USDA - Western Region
- City of Chandler
- Town of Gilbert
- Tyler Vanvleet
Arizona Department of Game & Fish
- Regional Supervisor, AZ Game & Fish
- Director, AZ Game & Fish
- Director, USDA Western Region
- Arizona Governor
To Whom It May Concern,
It has come to my attention that a individual permitted with your agency is in violation of codes USDA Subpart F (species that fly), and AZ Game and Fish Commission R12-4-402 and R12-4-417.
Mrs. Lisa Limbert, owner of Lisa's Creatures in Chandler, Arizona, is in possession of an Egyptian fruit bat named Echo. This bat is a baby as well as a colonial species. She was pulled from her mother, sold, and is being permanently housed by Mrs. Limbert in a small wire cage in the family's home (along with dozens of other exotic wild animals).
Mrs. Limbert is currently in violation of USDA regulations Subpart F: “Species that fly must be provided with sufficient unobstructed enclosure volume to enable movement by flying and sufficient roosting space to allow all individuals to rest simultaneously.”
My concern is not only for Echo and her cruel solitary confinement in a small cage, but for the potential hazards and additional liabilities associated with housing a flighted bat inside a home with someone who lacks the knowledge on the proper care, housing and maintenance of a fruit bat. Egyptian fruit bats are also prone to bite in stressful conditions, such as the manner in which Echo is being confined. Tyler Vanvleet, Region Law Enforcement Program Manager, recently responded to our request to move Echo to proper conditions by stating, in a letter dated Oct 31st, 2012: "The fruit bat held by Mrs. Limbert has been... tested for zoonotic disease..."
That statement is of great concern since it is impossible to test many mammals, but most especially a bat, for zoonotic disease without causing the death of the animal, as brain tissue must be examined. Being unaware of proper protocol regarding zoonotic diseases, coupled with the fact that several children have already been scratched and/or bitten by both mammals and reptiles during Mrs. Limbert's educational programs, is cause for great concern.
I ask that action be taken immediately on behalf of Echo, and that she be removed from her current cruel confinement with Lisa's Creatures wherein she is being set up to potentially bite a member of the public, and she will have to be destroyed and tested for disease. Please have Echo placed with a sanctuary that is accredited or verified with either the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries or the American Sanctuary Association, who have established standards in proper bat care and housing.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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