Yogi and I have been visiting the Tolga Bat Hospital in the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Queensland for many many years, working and becoming fast friends with a wonderful woman named Jenny Maclean.

Jenny Maclean with kelpie Guirri Maclean sitting on their magnificent bat bench.

Jenny Maclean with kelpie Guirri Maclean sitting on their magnificent bat bench.

Jenny owns and runs the Tolga Bat Hospital. She has selflessly dedicated her entire time, home and really, her life to take care of these wonderful winged mammals called flying foxes or fruit bats.

Jenny Maclean cooing at little orphan spectacled flying foxes wrapped and ready for feeding

Jenny Maclean cooing at little orphan spectacled flying foxes wrapped and ready for feeding

Her equally admirable and steady-as-a-rock volunteer Ashleigh Johnson has had to suffer Yogi’s barrage of clicks and in-her-face photography over the years.

Wildlife carer Ashleigh Johnson with a little red flying fox on her shoulder.

Wildlife carer Ashleigh Johnson with a little red flying fox on her shoulder.

Ashleigh can be seen in practically every nature magazine worldwide which has featured our story of the bat hospital and which has now gone viral online like in this “boredpanda” link! She hates seeing herself on print but sorry Ash, you’re just too good at what you do! There are many fruitbat images in our website and here are some more we’ve taken recently of the Tolga Bat Hospital babies at the start of the 2014 season. You can shop online for fantastic bat T-shirts (Yogi’s uniform) or many other bat stuff or please donate to the wonderful work of the Tolga Bat Hospital’s through their PayPal Account.

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Two little red flying fox orphan babies wrapped and feeling secure.

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Individually named spectacled flying fox orphan babies wrapped and waiting for their feed.

Ashleigh Johnson feeding a baby spectacled flying fox milk.

Ashleigh Johnson feeding a baby spectacled flying fox milk.

Spectacled flying fox  feeding on nectar from flowers of the golden penda.

Spectacled flying fox feeding on nectar from flowers of the golden penda.

We witnessed a fantastic spectacle not seen by the locals for the past 30 years. With the mass flowering of the eucalyptus trees or Inland White Mahogany, a massive colony of Little Red Flying-foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) estimated to peak at about 100,000 bats took up residence all along the Wild River of Heberton sometime early Dec 2013 to March 2014 with the little reds seeking the flower’s nectar and pollen. The Little Red Flying-fox is a species of megabat native to northern and eastern Australia. With a weight of 280–530 grams (9.9–18.7 oz) it is the smallest flying fox in mainland Australia (the others being the black, spectacled and grey-headed flying foxes).

Taken January 2014, the eucalyptus trees along the Herberton Wild River were adorned by little red flying foxes like Christmas ornaments!

Taken January 2014, the eucalyptus trees along the Herberton Wild River were adorned by little red flying foxes like Christmas ornaments!

Thousands of little red flying foxes roosting on inland mahogany trees.

Thousands of little red flying foxes roosting on inland mahogany trees.

Massive colony of little red flying foxes flying during the day along the Wild River in Herberton.

Massive colony of little red flying foxes flying during the day along the Wild River in Herberton.

Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) foxes roosting on inland white mahogany, Eucalyptus trees and easily spooked into flying.

Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) foxes roosting on inland white mahogany, Eucalyptus trees and easily spooked into flying.

With the Little Red Flying-fox colony roosting very near the Herberton village, they were easily spooked by any loud unfamiliar sound.

With the Little Red Flying-fox colony roosting very near the Herberton village, they were easily spooked by any loud unfamiliar sound.

The boys seemed to like to hang out with each other.

The boys seemed to like to hang out with each other.

Little Red flying fox taking off.

Little Red flying fox taking off.

By March 2014, the thousands of roosting little reds had broken the trees along the Wild River with their constant heavy accumulated weight!

By March 2014, the thousands of roosting little reds had broken all the trees along the Wild River with their constant heavy accumulated weight!

The amazing energy and strength of this colony of little red flying foxes.

The amazing energy and strength of this colony of little red flying foxes.

The breathtaking flyout of Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) flying out of their roost after sunset to forage in the forest. This massive colony, estimated to peak at about 100,000 bats, took up residence along the Wild River of Heberton.

The breathtaking flyout of Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) flying out of their roost after sunset to forage in the forest. This massive colony, estimated to peak at about 100,000 bats, took up residence along the Wild River of Heberton.