By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 7:23 am in Bats.
Some of you may have seen or heard of the movie “Contagion,” which was released Friday, Sept. 9. This Warner Brothers film written by Steven Soderbergh is about a mysterious, fast-spreading virus that kills countless humans around the world. In the end, it is concluded that the virus was linked to bats.
Below is BCI’s official statement about Contagion.
“Although bats sometimes harbor pathogens, any risk pales in contrast to the benefits bats provide. In fact, bats hunt and reduce the number of insects carrying diseases such as West Nile Virus. And scientists recently concluded that bats save American farmers billions of dollars a year by consuming crop-destroying pests. Bats also pollinate many valuable plants and disperse seeds that help restore damaged rainforests. In North America, right now, bat populations are being decimated by their own disease, White-nose Syndrome, which does not affect humans. For centuries, bats have been threatened because of misinformation and myths. We hope this movie does not encourage such needless fears.”
Bat Conservation International is concerned that the issues raised by this film may damage the cause of bat conservation. For decades, we have worked to educate the public and to change negative perceptions about bats. We hope this movie will not undo the progress we have made.
Nina Fascione, Executive Director, Bat Conservation International, Austin, Texas
P.S. – Since education is key to understanding the importance of bats, please consider supporting BCI’s Education Program http://www.batcon.org/index.php/support-bci/make-a-donation/stepDonation.html?title=Contagion%20movie%20education&specialCode=i-601&RedirectMemType=doa&utm_campaign=%2Fi-601&utm_source=external
To find out more about BCI, see http://www.batcon.org
Bat Conservation International is an excellent organization and we should all try to support its efforts on behalf of bats in any way we can. Thanks for caring. /Gary