For most of us in Minnesota, these February days in the 60s have been kinda weird but pretty awesome. Definitely not life threatening (as long as you keep your car off the lake).
Then again, most of us are not bats.
For those flying mammals, waking up before it's really time to get up is a dangerous thing. That's why the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota wants anyone who discovers a bat that ended its hibernation early to bring the critter to the Center in Roseville.
Why is it dangerous for them?
As the Wildlife Rehab Center (WRC) explains in a Facebook post, if a bat's hibernation is ended prematurely it's not as simple as just going back to sleep.
They probably went into hibernation in October (it's technically a state of torpor rather than a true hibernation, the website Bats in the Attic notes). So by now the fat they had stored up for their winter nap is pretty much gone. The WRC says if bats did go back into hibernation, most would not survive.
Also, bats have the kind of metabolism that burns a lot of calories whenever they're awake. And these days it's still too early for the bugs they eat to be out yet. When you're really hungry and there's nothing to eat, that's trouble.
How to bring them in
To help out a bat who woke up early, you first have to catch it. And it's important to do that without touching it (they can have rabies).
The WRC recommends using a Tupperware container or maybe an empty cottage cheese carton that you could punch holes in to give the bat some air. The idea is to wait until the bat lands somewhere, then cover them with the container.
Bat World Sanctuary has diagrams and also tips on how to help an outdoor bat in distress.