Bats are clean, gentle and intelligent, they are vital to the ecosystem, and they enhance our lives in many ways. Fruit and nectar bats bring us approximately 450 commercial products and over 80 different medicines through seed dispersal and pollination. Up to 98% of all rainforest regrowth comes from seeds that have been spread by fruit bats. Insect-eating bats are literal vacuum cleaners of the night skies, eating millions upon millions of harmful bugs. They protect us by eating insect-pests that destroy crops as well as insects that cause human disease.
. Wrinkled-lipped bats - prefers to gather in large colonies of many thousands clustered together on the ceiling of the cave. In the early afternoon this huge colony of nearly 3 million bats fly around preparing to leave the cave.
As they leave the cave they gather at the entrance and form a large circle until there are several thousand circling together, then the circle breaks and a long ribbon shaped stream of bats fly off to begin hunting for insects.
See thousands of bats emerging from the Bat House and Bat Barn recorded with a camera outside the structures.
Rabies and precautions
Bats are wild mammals and do carry rabies, however rabies only occurs in about .5 percent (1 in 200) of the bats in a population. For comparison, rabies in wild raccoons can occur at up to 35 percent (1 in 3.)
Unlike other mammals, rabid bats do not show aggression, but are more likely to be found on the ground, sluggish and easy for children to pick up. Children must be warned to NEVER touch any bat, because bats found on the ground are much more likely to be rabies-positive and may bite in self-defense. Instead, have an adult notify a trained professional with protective gear and pre-exposure rabies vaccinations to handle or remove bats. If a bat must be removed by an untrained adult, use a coffee can with a piece of stiff cardboard. Place the can over the bat and gently slide the cardboard under the can, trapping the bat inside without touching it, or use heavy leather gloves.