Watch as Johnny Depp, in full costume as Captain Jack Sparrow, nurses baby bats at a wildlife rescue clinic in Australia.
Depp visited the wildlife clinic while in Australia recently, after being told about the plight of orphaned flying foxes by his voice coach, who worked with him during filming of the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.
His voice coach, who works as a volunteer at the Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre, told him about a tiny female red flying fox baby, who had been found on the ground after a big storm.
Volunteers named the bat “Jackie Sparrow” in Depp’s honor; the baby weighed only one ounce when she was found. While he was in town, the actor dropped in on the clinic to meet his namesake.
Depp appeared to bond with the tiny creature while he bottle fed her, and was overhead murmuring “I’ve fallen in love with them,” while cradling the bat in his hands.
Four species of flying foxes are native to Australia. They are important pollinators and seed dispersers in forest ecosystems.
While the baby bats are still very young, they travel with their mother as she flies out of the communal colony to forage at night, clinging to her fur and teats. The young are sometimes separated from their mother during wild weather or when the mother is attacked by a predator.
It is also not uncommon for adult flying foxes to die from electrocution when hanging from powerlines, however the babies often survive this trauma, and can successfully be raised to adulthood by human rehabilitation.