What a waste of chiropterans

19 09 2007

What is it about some people in Texas wanting to slaughter animals for no good reason? According to news reports out today, a number of bats (an actual estimate of the “infestation” not being given) found their way into Lanier Hall East at Texas Southern University, and a number of the young men in residence thought to make a sport out of the lost (and probably confused) bats. [Note: The following video contains offensive language];

While many of the news reports expressed worries about rabies (although no one seems to have been bitten), the people who killed any number of the flying mammals apparently received no rebuke for their cruelty to the animals. They were not being attacked or molested by the bats, and if there was a problem why not leave? Swinging away at the creatures, probably disoriented and frightened, reveling in the smack of the furry bodies on the linoleum, is far from mature, responsible, or even intelligent. Bats are absolutely amazing animals, and despite the rather pungent smell of guano, I was lucky enough to observe Little Brown Bats leaving their roost over a number of nights last summer at Stokes State Forest. There’s really no excuse for what I can only term cruelty on the part of the students in the videos.

Some Texans take a more healthy interest in bats, however, (although their reactions to a bat in nature and a bat in the house might be different depending on who we’re talking about), and plenty of people show up to watch bats emerge from beneath the Congress Ave. bridge in Austin, TX;

Bat really are amazing mammals, and I am remiss in not writing about them more often (and so they’ve been duly added to my ever-growing list of things to learn/write about). In the meantime, enjoy this clip from The Life of Mammals featuring a particular bat that has a relatively unusual way (as far as bats go) in detecting prey.


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4 responses

19 09 2007
Michael Barton

This Saturday, a traveling exhibit on bats opens at the Museum of the Rockies here in Bozeman, MT: “Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats.”

See here: http://www.museumoftherockies.org/Home/EXPLORE/UpcomingExhibits/Bats/tabid/177/Default.aspx

Maybe such an exhibit, which seeks to “dispel popular misconceptions about bats” should make a stop in Texas…

19 09 2007
Anne-Marie

When I saw the news reports on this this morning it made me sad, the videos just make me sick. I truly don’t understand some people. They not only tortured animals that are generally harmless, they potentially exposed themselves to a lethal disease in the process. These are college students?

19 09 2007
Jason

Speaking of bats, here’s an account of the bizarre sex life of the African bat bug.

20 09 2007
Julia

Ugh. How despicable. Occasionally we get birds in the house. I’ve even been on a crowded tube train with a pigeon on board. I’ve never seen anyone behave like that to birds.

I’m going to Carlsbad Caverns in three weeks’ time. I’m hoping there will still be some bats there, because I want to see them coming out of the natural entrance. I’ve never seen more than one at a time in the wild, so I’m looking forward to it.

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