Go­ing into bat for the unloved

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

I KNOW bats aren’t every­body’s cup of tea, but I’m pre­pared to go out on a limb (so to speak) and say I like ’em.

I say this well aware that they pose a def­i­nite health risk through lyssavirus. And I don’t have the kind of fruit trees that would turn our back­yard into a fly­ing fox buf­fet.

De­spite this, I reckon they add a cer­tain mys­tique to sub­ur­ban life that is largely bereft of such things.

I’ll still make an ef­fort to go out­side at dusk and watch the fly­ing fox raid­ing par­ties mak­ing their way low over the roofs to­wards their feed­ing grounds.

And with Hal­loween just around the cor­ner, such a sight would surely only add a bit of the­atre to trick or treat­ing.

Which is why I’m sad that bats seemed to be shunned in death as much as they are in life.

One fallen spec­i­men has been slowly de­com­pos­ing in a Kil­gour St me­dian strip for at least five months. I know this to be true be­cause I walk past it al­most ev­ery week­day. To be fair, the corpse isn’t in all that bad a con­di­tion, all things con­sid­ered. It was as leath­ery as a well-worn Sher­rin in life and looks pretty much the same now. More ob­vi­ous is its fallen com­rade at the top of Moora­bool St. Ob­vi­ous and em­bar­rass­ing. I’m not aware that bats are among the big thinkers of the an­i­mal king­dom. You never see them try­ing to sign with their keep­ers, or be tasked with pre­dict­ing the win­ner of the World Cup ev­ery four years. So I shouldn’t be re­ally sur­prised that this fly­ing fox had the mis­for­tune to elec­tro­cute it­self — by ap­par­ently bit­ing the power line.

Un­til there is some sort of in­ter­ven­tion, it is des­tined to re­main sev­eral me­tres off the ground with its teeth firmly clamped in a death grip.

The irony of a crea­ture that spent so much of its life up­side down spend­ing its death right way up is not lost on me.

A look at our city’s sky­line will show how much this city has changed, even in the past decade.

Where once there was St Mary’s spire and the ce­ment works break­ing up the hori­zon, now there are the Kar­dinia Park light towers and multi-storey of­fice blocks. Per­haps one more tiny change to the air up there could be made, and a lit­tle dig­nity re­stored.

“Bats frighten me. It’s time the world shared my dread.” — Bruce Wayne, Bat­man Be­gins

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.