First, let me say I'm highly disappointed that the minute a deadly virus pops up, it's the bats' fault.
"Courage is knowing what not to fear"... Plato
First, let me say I'm highly disappointed that the minute a deadly virus pops up, it's the bats' fault. The truth is they are the least studied mammal on the planet, so they are a perfect patsy. I actually heard a rumor they killed JFK.
The other truth is all of these viruses and bacteria already exist in nature (unless man made). They may or may not be present in wildlife but that isn't enough evidence to convict. In nature, when too many animals live in one space, the stress on the animals and their resources usually spurns a wormhole for a dormant disease to take hold. This is mother nature's way of thinning the herd. That makes those overcrowded villages in China a perfect place to spawn. Although, there is always the chance, that with our amazing technology a human being is responsible for the construction of the perfect chemical weapon. It's not unthinkable. Not much surprises me these days...almost. But everyone is innocent until proven guilty or irrational fear kicks in.
While we're on the subject of bats, you may have noticed the bats are turning up tucked in, in places you didn't expect. This is by no means a new phenomenon, but it's more than we have seen in a while or since I started paying attention. The severe weather fluctuations are reeking havoc on more than just us. Have you noticed the migrating birds came back early this year? The temperatures running from 60 then crashing back to freezing confuse the poor animals.
The bats come out in the warm weather, even though not many insects are out yet. When the temperature drops to 30, they can't fly in the cold, so they quickly find the closest place to snuggle into. It takes a lot of energy to wake from a torpor sleep (like a Monday morning for us), and who knows if they can catch enough insects to refuel their much needed caloric intake. So keep your eyes and hearts open and your fear bays on hold. The bats will find their way home.
If you find hurt or injured wildlife or have a question call your local Fish and Wildlife.You can look online at mass.gov/ wildlife rehabilitators.com for rehabilitators in your area. If you have a question for me, you can email me at email@example.com or follow me at Wild Warriors -Wild Again @ByrnesMae.
And please as always, keep wildlife wild.
JoAnn Byrnes is a local state-permitted wildlife rehabilitator who has been working with wildlife for over 20 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bridgewater State University. Any questions? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @ByrnesMae.