Big Brown Bat release a huge success

By Costa Maragos Posted: May 8, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Mark Brigham and grad student Shelby Bohn surrounded by bat enthusiasts.
Dr. Mark Brigham and grad student Shelby Bohn surrounded by bat enthusiasts. Photo courtesy of Danielle Todd.

The big brown bat release attracted a huge crowd at the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Dr. Mark Brigham, some of his graduate students from the U of R and the Science Center staff who looked after the bats were at the centre of it all.

It’s estimated up to 400 people showed up to witness the release of eight bats May 1. The crowd, most of them young children, cheered with the release of each bat as we show you here.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people take such a big interest in this. We were expecting 40 to 50 people but it turned out to be quite the crowd,” says Dr. Brigham who is a professor in the Department of Biology and a well known bat researcher.

The Big Brown Bats were found by people in various places around the city and brought to Dr. Brigham, who made sure the mammals were safe to handle before handing them over to the Science Centre. The bats were housed for the winter at the Science Centre.

The Science centre has a partnership with the University of Regina called The Bat Rescue Mission.

Big Brown Bat on Tree
A Big Brown Bat moments before it is released. (Photo courtesy of Kim Mann)

“It’s great to see that more people are becoming aware of bats. Our outreach is having an impact. Now when somebody finds a bat, instead of killing them, they’re brought to us. We’re trying to dispel a lot of the misconceptions people have about bats,” says Dr. Brigham.

The event was also about awareness. Dr. Brigham gave a talk about the importance of bats.

“Bats are an integral part of the ecosystem. They eat a lot of insects. They eat their own body weight in flying insects, every day. They have complex social systems. They’re fascinating and I’m glad to see others agree,” says Dr. Brigham.

That might explain the huge turnout and the city’s love affair with bats.

The University of Regina places a premium reaching out to the community in a variety of ways as stated in our Strategic Plan.

The Department of Biology takes great pride in its teaching and research endeavours.