Peachland bat house says contracting rabies from the creatures is 'incredibly rare' - InfoNews

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Peachland bat house says contracting rabies from the creatures is 'incredibly rare'

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July 19, 2019 - 11:00 AM

PEACHLAND - Following the July 13 death of a young B.C. man who contracted rabies after coming into contact with a bat, the Bat Education and Ecological Protection Society in Peachland would like to remind the public that incidents like this are “incredibly rare.”

It is estimated that less than 0.5 per cent of bats carry rabies, and even if they do, they’re not interested in you, according to a release from the Bat Education Society. They exclusively eat insects, and will not intentionally bite or scratch humans.

The contact the young B.C. man had with the bat last spring was purely accidental. He didn't seek medical treatment until after symptoms developed six weeks later and that's why he died from the disease.

The Bat Education Society advises anyone who comes into contact with a bat, or any other wild animal such as squirrels or foxes to immediately seek medical attention as a precaution, even if there is no visible mark.  

Every Friday night throughout the summer the society hosts bat counts outside the Peachland Visitor Centre. In the attic of the building, there is a colony of 2,000 bats, which the society is committed to preserving and protecting. Many families gather outside the centre watch the bats exit the building to feed for the night and assist volunteers in counting the bats, and ensuring the population numbers are consistent.

The society stresses the ecological importance of bats. Because they eat half their body weight in insects every night (up to 600 bugs each), they keep B.C. relatively pest-free. They’re also pollinators, and their feces is an effective plant fertilizer. 

For anyone with questions or concerns about bats, the Bat Education and Ecological Protection Society can be reached by email at

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 801-9235 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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