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Visitors at Shangri La's Autumn Fair learn about bats
ORANGE- by Haley Bull
More than 1,600 people converged at Shangri La's Autumn Fair Saturday in Orange. Festivities included everything from pumpkin decorating to hay rides and even a live bat presentation by Bat World Sanctuary.
The group is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and protection of bats. Kate Rugroden presented to festival-goers. She said 34 species of bats can be found in Texas, including three that are being considered for the endangered species list.
People took pictures, saw live bats and learned all about the animal. Rugroden said they are critical to humans' everyday lives.
"We couldn't exist if we didn't have bats," she said. "Everyone out there who uses shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, rubber tires on their cars, eats fruit, eats any kind of cereal based product, all of those things are brought to use either through the protections of bats or propagation by bats."
Rugroden said if you find a bat in need, never touch it bare handed. Get a shoebox with a small piece of cloth, scoop the bat into the box and go to www.batworld.com to find a rehabilitator nearby.