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In the 1980s, large numbers of Spectacled flying foxes in the Atherton Tablelands of Queensland Australia began dying mysteriously, but it was not until the 1990s that the cause was traced to a parasitic tick, which provokes paralysis in the feet of the bats. With the aid of volunteers an emergency hospital was opened, followed by the world-class Tolga Bat Hospital, founded by Jenny Maclean. A team of dedicated volunteers works around the clock during the bats' breeding season to feed and rear the orphaned bats, which are eventually released back into the rainforest. The Hospital celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015 and currently cares for 350 orphan bats.

Download the full story pdf featuring Jurgen Freund's images here.

Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer handling Little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) babies wrapped in nappies cuddling a pillow and sucking on pacifier. Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queens... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer handling Little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) babies wrapped in nappies cuddling a pillow and sucking on pacifier. Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queens...
Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer handing Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) baby as it flaps her wings, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May 2015. Second Place in t... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer handing Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) baby as it flaps her wings, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May 2015. Second Place in t...
Tolga Bat Hospital director Jenny Maclean rescuing, Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) caught in barbed wire fence.  Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. April 2015. Second Place i... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Tolga Bat Hospital director Jenny Maclean rescuing, Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) caught in barbed wire fence. Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. April 2015. Second Place i...
Little red flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) roosting on inland White mahogany and Eucalyptus trees, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio catego... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Little red flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) roosting on inland White mahogany and Eucalyptus trees, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio catego...
Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer with Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) crawling over shoulder. Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. August 2014. Second Place in the M... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer with Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) crawling over shoulder. Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. August 2014. Second Place in the M...
Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) roosting with baby, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Image... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) roosting with baby, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Image...
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) dead after getting trapped on barbed wire fence. Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) dead after getting trapped on barbed wire fence. Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. May. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category...
Paralytic tick (Ixodes holocyclus) with engorged body on human hand, this species affects many species, Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) among them and infects them with a toxin that ca... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Paralytic tick (Ixodes holocyclus) with engorged body on human hand, this species affects many species, Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) among them and infects them with a toxin that ca...
Little red flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) flying around and roosting in trees, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. December. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category of the Terr... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Little red flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) flying around and roosting in trees, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. December. Second Place in the Man and Nature portfolio category of the Terr...
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies or bubs wrapped in cloth in the nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies or bubs wrapped in cloth in the nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled in cloth ready to sleep, held by a voluntary wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled in cloth ready to sleep, held by a voluntary wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies or bubs wrapped in cloth and teats in mouths ready for feeding in the nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies or bubs wrapped in cloth and teats in mouths ready for feeding in the nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled in cloth ready to sleep, being hand fed by wildlife volunteer carer Ashleigh Johnson, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Au... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled in cloth ready to sleep, being hand fed by wildlife volunteer carer Ashleigh Johnson, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Au...
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub is cared for by Claudia Barton, volunteer wildlife carer at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia October 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub is cared for by Claudia Barton, volunteer wildlife carer at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia October 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphan babies being cared for by Ashleigh Johnson, volunteer wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphan babies being cared for by Ashleigh Johnson, volunteer wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled up in cloth ready to sleep, held by a voluntary wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies swaddled up in cloth ready to sleep, held by a voluntary wildlife carer, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub is cared for by Ashleigh Johnson, volunteer wildlife carer at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia October 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub is cared for by Ashleigh Johnson, volunteer wildlife carer at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia October 2012
Mosaic floor of Tolga Bat Hospital front entrance, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2012. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Mosaic floor of Tolga Bat Hospital front entrance, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2012.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) paralysed after being bitten by paralytic ticks having medicine administered by owner and main carer Jenny Mclean at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensl... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) paralysed after being bitten by paralytic ticks having medicine administered by owner and main carer Jenny Mclean at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensl...
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies arrive by plane from Brisbane after months of care ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to the wild, Atherton, North Q... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies arrive by plane from Brisbane after months of care ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to the wild, Atherton, North Q...
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Bat Crossing sign at Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Bat Crossing sign at Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) feeding on nectar from flowers of the Golden penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus), Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. June. Second Place in the Man... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) feeding on nectar from flowers of the Golden penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus), Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. June. Second Place in the Man...
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in trees, Queensland, Australia - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in trees, Queensland, Australia
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting at dusk with moon behind, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting at dusk with moon behind, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting at dusk with moon behind, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting at dusk with moon behind, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Flocks of Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in flight at dusk, Queensland, Australia - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Flocks of Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in flight at dusk, Queensland, Australia
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in flight at dusk, Queensland, Australia - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in flight at dusk, Queensland, Australia
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) flying out of the island where they roost during the day, North Queensland, Australia. February.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, North Queensland, Australia, October 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, North Queensland, Australia, October 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, one stretching wings, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) colony roosting during daytime, one stretching wings, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies arrive by plane from Brisbane after months of care ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to the wild, Atherton, North Q... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies arrive by plane from Brisbane after months of care ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to the wild, Atherton, North Q...
Crates for transporting Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies by plane from Brisbane. Aafter months of care they are ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Crates for transporting Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) babies by plane from Brisbane. Aafter months of care they are ready to be returned to the Tolga Bat Hospital for release back to...
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying fox orphans (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from rehab cage, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox orphans (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from rehab cage, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphans cared for in Tolga Bat Hospital, hanging on clothes dryer with liquid available, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphans cared for in Tolga Bat Hospital, hanging on clothes dryer with liquid available, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007.
Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer children and feed the fruit bats. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Tolga Bat Hospital volunteer children and feed the fruit bats.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in aviary at feeding time, the bats are fed a variety of fruit and drink milk and water, Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 201... - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in aviary at feeding time, the bats are fed a variety of fruit and drink milk and water, Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 201...
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphans cared for in Tolga Bat Hospital, hanging on clothes dryer with liquid available, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) orphans cared for in Tolga Bat Hospital, hanging on clothes dryer with liquid available, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. December 2007.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub hanging in nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) baby or bub hanging in nursery at Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) inside enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) inside enclosure, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) in aviary at feeding time, Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012 - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) in aviary at feeding time, Tolga Bat Hospital, North Queensland, Australia, November 2012
Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, with one bat with wings outstretched, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008. - Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) hanging from roof of their enclosure, with one bat with wings outstretched, Tolga Bat Hospital, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. January 2008.
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