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Tulsa Bat Rehabilitator Says Bats Are Good

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Bruce Taylor is one of Oklahoma's three licensed bat rehabilitators. He says bats are hugely misunderstood. They are nature's most efficient bug zapper, especially mosquitoes. Bruce Taylor is one of Oklahoma's three licensed bat rehabilitators. He says bats are hugely misunderstood. They are nature's most efficient bug zapper, especially mosquitoes.
Taylor's job is to get bats healthy again. Taylor's job is to get bats healthy again.

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There is a bat rehabilitator in Tulsa who believes if we knew more about bats, we'd love them rather than loath them.

Bruce Taylor is one of Oklahoma's three licensed bat rehabilitators. He says bats are hugely misunderstood. They are Mother Nature's most efficient bug zapper, especially mosquitoes. They are much better than Purple Martins and other birds.

"Bats eat 800 to 1,000 mosquitoes an hour. A martin might catch a dozen," said Bruce Taylor, bat rehabilitator.

Brown bats are most prevalent in the Tulsa area. They live in colonies. Taylor says he generally gets them as pups or babies or when they are sick.

So if you find a bat that doesn't fly away.

"Don't touch it with your hands. Get some gloves or a container and scoop it up in the container and call me," said Taylor.

Taylor's job is to get the bat healthy again. So what do you feed a rehabbing bat? Actually, they do well on meal worms. Taylor orders them thousands at a time.

Taylor says he has to train bats to eat the worms. It's not a natural part of a bat's diet, but a good substitute.

Water is essential, bats dehydrate quickly. Their principle benefit is mosquito elimination. Taylor recommends putting up bat houses to attract females.

Taylor pointed out that the white nose syndrome is killing bats up north. At a meeting recently of the Fish & Game they estimated the farmers could lose as much as $200 billion in crops due to the bat deaths. Why? Taylor says because bats are the second major pollinator of plants. Bees and bats produce 75 percent of the world food supply by pollinating the plants. Bats are more beneficial in that they also eat the insects that kill the plants, according to Taylor.

E-mail the Foundation for Environmental and Wildlife; Education, Research and Rehabilitation Inc.

You can call bat rehabilitator Bruce Taylor at 918-688-8337.

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