Students at Ecole catholique Franco-Superieur are going batty for the latest addition to their school.
With the inspiration of parent volunteers and the blessing of school officials, students welcomed a new bat house, which was installed in the facility’s outdoor classroom.
Mae Cerisano, a Grade 3 student at the school said she and her classmates think bats are pretty cool.
“They can do little noises and it bounces on a wall, it comes back to their ears and then they hear it,” the eight-year-old said, explaining how the visually challenged mammals manage to find the thousands of insects they rid the world of each night.
Mae, who celebrated Halloween by dressing as a bat, added it’s important to help the species, who have been succumbing in huge numbers because of white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed seven million bats in the United States since 2010 and was first diagnosed in Ontario four years ago.
“They also don’t have many spots that are safe for them and they need somewhere to sleep,” she said, adding she can’t wait for the bats to arrive.
“I like bats,” she said.
Parent-volunteer Suzanne Hamel said students spent five days celebrating the little brown bat, whose population locally has been declining rapidly because of the disease.
“They really need habitat and thanks to the support of the administration at our school here, we’ve actually purchased a big bat house to create a habitat for all the mommas and their babies throughout the winter,” Hamel said.
Bats are a misunderstood creature, she added.
“They’re kind of like sharks and wolves. Bats play such an important role in our eco-system. I think every hour they eat over 1,000 mosquitoes. And they’re also important pollinators. And similar to us, they’re mammals and I think they’re one of the coolest animals since they’re the only mammal who can fly.”
Raising awareness of a species in trouble is able a good learning lesson for students at the French-language elementary school.
It’s a way to show compassion to an animal in need.
“What a great tool for learning for the students and for the community at large,” she said.