Bats assault Ukrainian city and bite its residents

Tenants should expel uninvited guests from their apartments ASAP, otherwise more bats are likely to appear

Bats have launched an assault on the city of Kharkov in Ukraine. Lately the city residents have filed more complaints of the flying nocturnal mammals that were sneaking into apartments through windows. They even attacked several people. Three people were bitten by bats in Kievski district alone since the beginning of this year. In the light of the above, the city sanitation authorities ordered the housing and communal services personnel to force out the “illegal lodgers” from the attics of multi-storied buildings.

According to zoologists, the flying creatures try to get into buildings because their instinct drives them to seek shelter. Zoologists are confident that tenants should expel an uninvited guest from their apartments ASAP, otherwise more bats are likely to appear and settle down in apartments.

Doctors fear that the bats may carry a virus of rabies. However, bats are normally affected by a different virus of rabies that mostly targets the animals themselves as opposed to a virus transmitted by wolves, foxes, dogs, and cats, according to Andrei Vlashchenko, a researcher with Research Center of Biology under the Kharkov University. Still, doctors believe that a person bitten by a bat should be vaccinated. Meanwhile, residents are recommended to put anti-mosquito nets over their windows to keep the Hymenoptera at bay.

Bats have behaved aggressively before. A rabies-stricken bat attacked a teenager in Poland a few years ago. The incident took place in the daytime when those animals are usually asleep. The bat came down on the boy and bit his forearm a few times. The boy did not get scared by the attacker. He threw his jacket over the bat and took it to a veterinarian. The veterinarian examined the bat and found out that it had rabies.

A bat caused a major power outage in Melbourne, Australia. Looking for a place to sleep during the day, the flying mammal opted for a transformer hut. The bat somehow managed to connect a high-voltage incoming line and a power cable providing electricity to residential areas. As a result, one of the buildings was heavily damaged by an explosion triggered by a strong surge of voltage. Many electrical appliances and power lines were burned out in other buildings.

Nota Bene! Bat rabies accounts for approximately one human death per year in the United States. Thus, some people consider bats to be dangerous. Nevertheless, dogs which are equally often considered "man's best friend," attack and kill more humans annually than die from bat rabies in a decade. Statistically speaking, pets, playground equipment, and sports are far more dangerous than bats. Clearly, bats do not rank very high among mortality threats to humans. Nevertheless, prudence and simple precautions can save lives.
The firsthand information about bats and their habitats
can be found on Bat Conservation International web site.

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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova