Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad press for bats
The above article is an example of some bad press about bats, it is about a man who died in the US from rabies transmitted by a vampire bat.  If you read the article, however, you will see that he was bite in Mexico and then traveled to the us where he died.  There are no vampire bats in the US. The article is also incorrect in saying that vampire bats "suck" blood, they do not. They lap it up like a dog drinking water.  Another example of bad press is the story from August in which a bat was found flying around in an airplane, or the story from Virginia in which animals being rescued after a hurricane were placed in a building that was also inhabited by bats.  Once people realized the bats where there, they euthanized all of the animals for fear of a rabies outbreak.
Rabies in bats is uncommon.. and many animals can have it and transmit it to humans..raccoons, skunks, foxes, domestic cats and dogs..and indeed 99% of rabies cases worldwide are caused by dogs. You are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than to get rabies from a bat. On the other hand, without bats we would be out BILLIONS of dollars by paying out for the services they provide for us.