Bats: Not for Pets

In all of the animal world there exists one mammal that is capable of flight: the bat. These nocturnal creatures are surprisingly social and stay in large groups preying on insects.

These animals have plenty of people fascinated. However, they are best enjoyed in their natural habitat. Nobody should attempt to domesticate a bat. The twenty-five year lifespan of the bat will be cut down to less than one year if a person attempts to domesticate a bat. A pet bat would be in a state of perpetual fear and would remain stressed. Finally, it would become unable to reproduce and then it would die. It is also illegal to keep a bat for a pet.

Although domesticating a bat is a bad idea, you can still interact with them by providing a bat box for them to roost in. Various kits exist and include direction for assembling such a box. It is important, though, to know where to put such a box.

The box should be somewhere no more than 1500 feet away from a permanent supply of running water, such as a river or stream. It will need seven hours of direct sunlight but still be no more than 30 yards from trees that can be used for the animal's protection. It is also useful to find a place where bats are already found near dusk.

Bats will mostly use the box during summer. It should not be altered in any way during this time as this may disturb the bats and they may choose not to come back. However, if the bats roost there, they will probably come back year after year.

These structures were first put together in Pennsylvania. They can be used for many different reasons from pest control to keeping bats from being pests in other places. They can also be used as an outlet for bat enthusiasts to observe the bats. However, unlike trying to domesticate a bat, providing a bat house will not harm the animals. More important than the above reasons is the preservation of the bat, which has been decreasing in number due to destruction of habitat.

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