Creatures of the night

Lerato Shiko would like to know whether bats are dangerous.

Lerato Shiko would like to know whether bats are dangerous.

Bats are the only mammals that fly - flying squirrels glide.

They also have a highly developed echo-location system that allows them to capture flying insects at night.

Bats catch insects in flight either with their mouths, wings or tail membranes. They usually forage from about an hour after sunset to about an hour before sunrise.

They spend their days roosting - often in the attic or walls of occupied buildings.

Most colonies of bats go unnoticed, but they can become a nuisance because of their noise, activity or smell.

Many people want to get rid of the winged mammals because they can infect humans or pets with rabies, but only a very small proportion (less than one percent) of bats have rabies. Even if rabies is confirmed in one bat in a colony, most of the remaining animals will be healthy.

As with most animals, it is best to leave bats alone and they will most likely not worry you.

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