Boo & Bats for a Not-So-Scary October

We started our blog with a countdown to Boo at the Zoo. October is over, but we had a wonderful time getting in the Halloween spirit and celebrating bats for Bat Awareness Month!

During Boo at the Zoo, families enjoyed treat stations, specialty food vendors, and other activities. I still remember how good those warm chocolate chip cookies tasted. I loved the decorations and great costumes. Halloween is still my favorite holiday!

Pumpkins and Bats

jack-o-lanterns

Look at all the pumpkins our members carved!

We hosted another fun-filled Members Pumpkin Carving Night – the pumpkins were displayed along the path of the advance ticket gate during Boo and looked amazing. Pumpkin sales benefited Bat Conservation International.

October is Bat Awareness Month

Bats are often misunderstood and feared, but they are very important to the ecosystem and quite beneficial to humans. Did you know they are pollinators? I had no idea! Bats help pollinate over 500 species of plants including some of my favorite foods: mango, banana, guava, and cocoa. Who would have thought bats were responsible for chocolate?! Along with pollinating, bat droppings act as a fantastic fertilizer and are even mined as a natural resource.

How else do bats help us out? I know many people who complain about Minnesota’s unofficial state bird, the mosquito. Insects make up a large part of bats’ diets. A bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour and often consumes its body weight in insects every night! I can support that. Bats also benefit farmers by eliminating crop pests like beetles and moths.

For Bat Appreciation Day on October 29, donation boxes were available to support these animals with proceeds benefiting the Lubee Foundation in Florida. Over 1,300 species of bats exist, but habitat loss and overhunting mean 78 bat species are endangered worldwide.

Help Protect Bats

one of our African straw-colored fruit bats

Webber, an African straw-colored fruit bat can be seen in Grigg’s Learning Center

One of the best ways to protect bats is by giving them a safe place to live.

Installing bat houses attracts bats and keeps them from roosting in buildings.

Leaving dead and dying trees provides great bat living spaces.

Having a water source or garden attracts insects that provide a food source for bats.

Decreasing use of pesticides on your lawns and gardens helps prevent bats from becoming ill or dying due to ingesting a contaminated insect.

I don’t think I could deny anything to Webber’s cute little face.

 


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