Bats are awesome

I haz a bat!Check it out! I went to my first ever event with the California Bat Conservation Fund over the weekend. I’m a volunteer with the CBCF, and now that I’ve got all my shots, I can help out by holding a bat for people to look at and talking to folks about bats. So I went along and helped out the other folks at The EcoFest. It was tiring, but fun. The bat in the photo is Gaia, a hoary bat. She can’t fly well enough to be released into the wild (she had a horribly broken wing which healed reasonably, but not well enough), so she’s an educational animal. She was very well behaved, and only got a bit wriggly when she was tired of being stared at and held.
More bat cutenessI really like working with the CBCF and am looking forward to more events like that. Sure, I get peopled out, but it’s really fun to show folks a cute, furry bat and say, “This is [bat’s name], isn’t she adorable?” and have them say “Yes! Oh, my gosh! That’s a bat?” Most folks think bats are creepy, huge things, not little furry mousey-looking critters. I mean, look at that little bitty bat! SO CUTE.
Some trivia: hoary bats are native to the area, and live in trees — they roost alone, which is part of why they’re so very furry! They have to be able to stay warm on their own, rather than in a colony (where a bunch of bats can all huddle together for warmth). And yes, that fur is as soft as it looks. Maybe even softer. There are more pix of hoary bats (and other bats too!) at the CBCF Flickr page.
It looks like I’m going to be with the CBCF at the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum in July, so mark your calendars! July 11, 10am-1pm. Be there or be square!

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