Wildlife Removal Education, Advice, and Tips

Bats ... Should we keep them as pets?

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In April of 2017, the lesser long-nosed bat was officially removed from the United Stated list of endangered species, marking the first time EVER that we have managed to pull a species of bat back from the brink of extinction.



That's good news, isn't it? After all, bats are very handy creatures to have around.They help to pollinate, so we need them just as much as need bees, other insects, and birds. We also need them to keep insect populations down; otherwise, agricultural spaces would be wiped out with crop-eating bugs.

Bat species are already suffering as a result of humans. We are cutting down trees, leaving them with fewer places to create maternity roosts and spaces for hibernation roosts. We've taken over caves, turning them into tourist hotspots and making them uninhabitable for wildlife.

We've even made them sick, white-nose syndrome now a very big problem across bat species around the world. It was once thought that humans were responsible for moving this fungus-based disease around — no bats migrate in the same direction that the disease appears to have been travelled ... but we humans have.

We've made life very difficult for bats, even going as far as evicting them from our homes when they move into the attic. This is necessary, of course; but you'd still be surprised to learn that many people actually ask us whether or not the bats they have in their colony would make for good pets.

The answer is, quite obviously, no.

No wild animal should be kept as a pet. When we start doing things like that, we change the way that the ecosystem works and that's when things go seriously awry. Cats and dogs are now rarely “wild”, many of the species now domesticated, wild animals either strays or feral in urban environments. How long do you think it would be for us to do the same thing with bats?

Wild animals are not meant to be caged, and they don't cope very well with it, either. Just take a look at any animal that you have managed to capture (bats shouldn't be one of them by the way) — you'll soon understand. They panic when caged up and forced to be our entertainment or pets. And what would you possibly feed a bat? They catch food outside on the wing! Read about What do Bats Eat?

Bats also don't make for great pets because they live in huge colonies. Yes, you could quite happily let that colony live up in your attic; they aren't technically hurting you after all. They are, though. They ARE hurting you — by spreading disease, including rabies; by leaving guano all around the place, which is corrosive and could even burn through roofs and ceilings; and by causing further damage.

You can't just keep one bat as a pet, and you can't keep a whole colony either. That pretty much says it all as far as bats are concerned — they do not make for good pets. Go back to the Bat Removal page, or learn about bats in the attic with my Bats in the Attic guide.

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