VIRGINIA

Virginia woman nurses ailing bats back to health

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Leslie Sturges is tackling a deadly bat infection, called White Nose Syndrome, by personally caring for dozens of bats from her Annandale home.

Virginia woman nurses ailing bats back to health

Since 2001, Sturges has cared for injured and sick bats in her Annandale home.

“I do it because these are animals that are fascinating in their own right and because the public doesn't love them very much,” Sturges said.

It's all part of the Save Lucy campaign—a non-profit dedicated to fighting a deadly infection called White-Nose Syndrome.

“We flat out need bats, they're the major predator of nighttime insects,” Sturges said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the disease kills hundreds of thousands of these little guys every year..

Ann Froschauer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: "this is really a big problem it's affecting multiple species of bats across generous."

Through funds from her non-profit, Sturges treats infected bats with antibiotics, food and water.

Most of the bats at Sturges’ home stay between a few days and a few months, but before she's ready to release them back into the wild, she takes them to a 13 foot flight cage for the last leg of their rehabilitation.

Caring for 50-80 bats a year, Sturges is giving the unsung hero of the ecosystem a fighting chance.

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