2008-06-07 / Editorials & Letters

The 'watchdog' tries to save some bats

Editor:

A shooting at a nightclub in Columbus on May 23rd involved a Kirkersville Police officer.Interim Chief Chris Martin was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that the officerinvolved used his personal weapon and was not dressed in any way as a police officer.However, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Division of Homeland Security (DHS) that licenses security companies to carry weapons, their records indicate that this officerwas terminated in September 2007 from the security company he was with and is not listed with the DHS as being a security guard anywhere! I asked how he could be considered a security guard and was told that he might have been working "in house." If that is the case, I believe he was using the same gun that he uses as a Kirkersville Police officer- the same gun he wasn't certified to carry for SEVERAL MONTHS!

Due to the persistence of GOB (Good Ole Boy) Mike Cloud (Zoning Commission chair and former Street Commissioner but still a professional busybody) and a former administration of GOB's, there is a strong possibility that several baby Brown Bats have been cruelly STARVED TO DEATH! This is the work and mentality of someone who has nothing better to do than to kill something that he doesn't understand.

Varment Guard was paid $1,600 to seal off the bell tower and install ONE WAY doors (this process is called an exclusion) at the town hall where bats have been living for the past 30+ years. The mothers can get out but cannot get back in to feed their babies!

Ohio Nature Education (ohionatureeducation. org) provided this statement: "Once thought to be vermin, we now know that bats play an important role in keeping insect populations in check and in essence helping humans. A bat can eat several thousand mosquitoes a night, therefore, helping us with control of West Nile Virus. A colony can help save agricultural crops and are considered to be the most important predator of night-flying insects."

To quote Dr. Jackie Belwood, a bat biologist and author of In Ohio's Backyard: Bats, "Exclusions should not be attempted from May through August. November is the best time. Wait until young are flying to exclude the colony." According to Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences; "When bat-proofing,timing is crucial," adds Brittingham. "Never seal holes May through July, because you can trap the females and their pups inside."

Shame on you, Varment Guard for not having done your homework! Shame on you for your inhumane practices all for the love of a dollar (or 1600 dollars)! Shame on GOB Mike Cloud for wanting rid of these animals that have worked for this community for the past 30+ years and who, in my opinion, are much more beneficialto the community than Mr. Cloud will ever be! And shame on any of the GOB's who participated in this cruel activity. Although Varment Guard tells me they are removing the one way doors today (June 4), I suspect it is too late. Too bad there isn't a one way door where GOB's could get out and NOT BACK IN! Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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