By Bret A. Muter | Michigan Coordinator
Last Thursday, approximately 70 youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint had the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with some cool critters courtesy of the Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC).
The program, presented by OBC’s Chad Geurts, introduced participants to some of the physical and behavioral adaptations of wildlife that allow them to survive, and thrive, in their environments. The audience squirmed in their seats and squealed with obvious excitement as Chad unveiled a number of neat nocturnal animals that call Michigan home, including a flying squirrel, a screech owl and a big brown bat. He also displayed a straw colored fruit bat – one of the largest bat species found in Africa.
In just one hour, the program clearly had an impact on the audience’s attitudes about bats and other commonly misunderstood species. Beyond the dozens of ‘cool’s and ‘awesome’s I received when I would ask the participants about what they thought about the program, a number of kids excitedly told me it was their first time seeing any of these animals (other than on TV).
Another participant came up to me and volunteered: “You know what? I was really scared when I found out they [the OBC] were going to bring bats to the Club.”
“And now what do you think?” I inquired.
“They’re not so bad. I’m not scared anymore,” he said.
It is these small shifts in attitudes about wildlife (and nature) that begin to make a big difference. It’s obviously a part of what the OBC strives to do with their programming. And, it’s a part of what Parks in Focus strives to do…one photo at a time.
Photos from the program were featured on the Flint Journal’s website. Check out some of their feature photos here.
About Critter Catchers, Inc.
Once again, Parks in Focus and the BGCFC would like to thank Critter Catchers for sponsoring this fantastic program.
Founded in 2005, the Ortonville, Mich.-based Critter Catchers, Inc. was formed by David Kugler, an Oakland University graduate holding a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Wayne State University. Critter Catchers provides wildlife control services in SE Michigan and specializes in humane bat removal and other attic pests. Visit the Website at www.crittercatchersinc.com or call: (248) 432-2712.