A Normal Day at the Visitor Center

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Opening procedure at the Visitor Center is a pretty normal routine.  Turn on lights, unlock the doors, check the cash register, look for bats.  Wait--you don't look for bats first thing in the morning??

Well, at the Visitor Center we do!  Yesterday Karla spied one and we were arguing about who would catch it.  Steven (a new summer ranger) was listening and then realized we weren't arguing about who would HAVE to catch it--but who would GET to catch it!!  Yes--Karla and I both love the bat catching job--and since she has LOTS more seniority (and is my Boss) she was Chief Bat Catcher.  Steven and I took photos.  

First--you find the bat!

Way up high in the corner.  Karla has good eyes and never misses finding a bat.  

Next you assemble bat net.  The ceilings are very high--almost 3 stories where the bat is hanging.  

Karla very carefully slides the net around the bat until he is dislodged and clings to the netting.

Voila!  Bat hanging in net! 

All bats are a protected species here.  This is a small brown bat--they eats lots of insects.  Bats are carefully scooped up and then taken outside and hung on a tree.  If visitors are in the Visitor Center they often ask questions and children especially are fascinated by bats.  Notice Karla wearing leather gloves--bats have tiny teeth and will bite (hey--if a giant grabbed ME I'd bite too) but mostly they are docile.  Karla encourages questions and if someone wants to touch the bat she will stretch a wing out carefully so they can feel how soft they are. 

This bat immediately climbed high in the tree when he was released.  

Although "bat catcher" is not on anyone's job description--Karla says its one of those "as needed" duties!  


Elaine Adair said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this story! Especially the part about a job description, "as needed". 8-))

QuiltinLibraryLady said...

And poor Karla, she's worked so hard at catching so many bats that she has to wear a brace on her wrist. :) Where were you guys when I took the small AC out of the sewing room window last fall and found a bat living under it?

Sara said...

What a fascinating post Lori! I learned something new.

Nancy said...

Great post - have you discovered where they enter the building?

Stephanie D said...

Too funny that you compete to catch bats!

Lori said...

Aren't you worried about rabies? We have had 4 bats turn in so far, 3 have been positive. Which is very high rate this year.

In Oregon

Henrietta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henrietta said...

Great pictures of Carla, so glad I finally got to meet her.