SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Bats are loved and hated creatures who do not get enough credit from society for all they do, so let’s debunk some myths about the flying mammal for Bat Week.
One in 5 people either dislike or hate bats. Some of this could be due to allegations of the mammal starting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scientists believe that the virus transitioned from animals to humans, and suggest that bats could be the culprit, as they have a history with the virus.
While not officially confirmed to start the pandemic, a Tulane University study found that bats could help us understand how to prevent the next pandemic.
Bats get a bad rep as they are commonly associated with the rabies virus, with many believing all bats have the virus.
The National Park Service debunked this myth finding that less than 1% of bats have rabies.
Not all bats have rabies, but always avoid contact with this animal to avoid disease and/or injuring the animal.
“But bats drink blood!“
Only three out of the 1,300 species of bats are Vampire Bats, which are found in Central and South America.
Bats are very diverse animals that have evolved to survive every continent, except Antarctica, and make up 20% of all mammal species worldwide.
Bats keep the insect population in control as they are a main food source, feeding on beetles and mosquitos.
They are one of the best pollinators and seed distributors in the world. Without them, say goodbye to mangos, bananas and tequila.
Bat guano, bat poop, is a good fertilizer rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphate. But proceed with caution because bat guano can also carry dangerous diseases.