Actually most bats are cute. (note there are 1000's of photos here, photos labeled "portrait" are more likely to show the cute and fuzzy side of a bat's face).
The problem is that it's really hard to get a photo of a microchiroptera that isn't in the process of echolocating. In order to echolocate, bats have to scream, which makes them look like they are baring their teeth, or preparing to bite. Megachiroptera (fruitbats) don't echolocate, and they have big eyes like owls, to see in the dark, so it's easier to see them as being cute.
Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002
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Having grown up in a part of the world without rabies, I was never afraid of bats. I love sitting outside late at night in the summer, watching them flying around in the twilight and listening to them squeaking.
Posts: 1528 | Registered: Nov 2004
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From National Geographic. Note that in the U.S. we have averaged less than 1 case of bat rabies per year over a 55 year period.
quote:A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, says that 46 percent of U.S. rabies cases in humans are caused by bites or scratches from infected bats—more than the 31 percent attributed to dogs.
Five of every six infections from bats occur between July and September, and the frequency peaks in August.
While the threat of rabies provokes fear, transmission from bats is actually rare, according to the Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Bat Conservation International.
Only 48 confirmed cases of rabies from bats have occurred in the United States in the past 55 years, the group reports.
But recent bat activity at a Girl Scouts camp in Virginia's Loudoun County caused health authorities to offer rabies shots to nearly a thousand campers—and brought the bat-rabies connection strongly to the public eye.
More than two dozen campers will reportedly receive the preventive treatment, a series of six to nine shots given over a month.
Such shots are often administered even when people have not been conclusively bitten, says biologist Barbara French of the bat conservation group.