Bats in My Belfry
"Friday evening (September 1, 2006) just prior to midnight, a bat was observed flying around Penrose Library. Security removed the animal from the Library.
If you touched or handled the bat prior to its removal, or was exposed to bat saliva, please contact the Health Center at 5295 to make sure there are no health risks because of the contact.
The Public Health Department says there is little health risk unless you touch or handle a bat. According to the Public Health Department bats rarely carry rabies, but we need to be careful.
A word of caution: Although we believe this to be an isolated incident, this is the time of year when bats may seek shelter indoors. If you encounter a bat in a building, your office, your residence hall room, or anywhere indoors, do not touch it! Please call Security (5777) and they
will notify the proper personnel to remove it.
Dean of Students"
When I saw the subject line of the email "bats around campus" I honestly thought it was yet another message about how a student was a target of some Townie hate crime. (I imagined a bat wielding punk who thinks all Whitties are rich snobs). Instead, the email was about furry little mammals.
I thought I'd take the time to point out that although bats are associated with rabies, the risk really is minimal AND bats are extremely beneficial for keeping pesky insects like mosquitoes under control. I have bats roosting in my attic (I think) based on several observations of them flying over my house. I also have never been bitten by a bug in my backyard. You can build your own bat house to encourage them to roost near your home.
Bully for bats!
I really like bats. Did you know that vampire bats can lick and groom their roostmates for up to 8 hours a day?! They regurgitate blood preferentially to those who have recently groomed them. This tit-for-tat trade helps vampire bats who don't get the opportunity to eat. Plus, there's no arguing against a little tactile comfort. I'd love to have a cartoon about vampire bat day spas.