Thursday, August 03, 2006

A tail of two batty cities

In Austin, the state capital of Texas, the peeps love the bats.

It's all peace, love, dove and PETA good vibes.

Web sites extol them. There's a bat sculpture. They sing the guano electric and name their minor league hockey team after them. They gather to ooh and ahh as thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats swoop from under the Congress Avenue bridge. Whoa. Cool.

In Lake Jackson, capital of the petrochemical underarm of Texas, it's a public health emergency. The authorities are called. People are relocated. Apartments quarantined. The guano? Filthy batshit! Don't step in it! Bleach and foam are deployed. Bad ju-ju. Bad, bad ju-ju. “I’ve seen kids hit ’em with a pizza box — POW!"


Jim said...

Not a good comparison, Banjo. The Austin bats live under a bridge over a lake. The Lake Jackson bats are in the walls of an apartment unit where people were living; some of the bats are testing positive for rabies. That would make me batty too! I think you can give the LJers a break on this one.

Banjo Jones said...

In Austin, they would humanely capture the creatures and return them to the wild, one by one. And give each bat a name. so people could adopt them and mail in a monthly stipend for their care. the sickly ones would be sent to a coalition of volunteer bat veterinarians.

mikemcguff said...

I've been involved in a bat capture in an apartment. Some how we used a military gas mask, camo jacket and net. We never actually caught the bat, but neighbors heard my friend and me scream like 10-year-old girls.

We called the animal patrol.

Mouth of the Yellow River said...

Ni Hao! Kannich Wa!

Hopefully controlling the rabid bat population doesn't follow the lead of folks back on the Yellow River in respect to dogs.

Things are rapidly changing however and many begin to closely distinguish pet versus food source. Both pets and gourmet dogs are increasing in popularity with increasing personal wealth and following the Western tradition of where pet dogs are often treated better than fellow humans.

In fact it's not uncommon to see pet poodles and such sitting under the table with their masters while they enjoy tasty commercial soy grilled hound, tastes pretty much like Louisiana Cajun fox dishes.

Dogs for the specialty gourmet market are also treated sometimes better than fellowman because of their agricultural value, as food animals beef, sheep, etc. are in the West.