Regina’s bat release a flying success

It’s the moment many people wait for every year: the annual bat release.

Nine big brown bats were released back into Wascana Park on Tuesday night at dusk. A small glow stick is temporarily glued to each critter’s belly, so the audience can watch the bats fly off into the wild.

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“These animals tried to hibernate in buildings in Regina and picked bad places to hibernate,” Mark Brigham, a University of Regina biology professor said. “They came to our attention, and the Science Centre has a place they can look after them and feed them. And now it’s spring time and it’s nice, and we want to let them go because they’re still wild animals.”

The Saskatchewan Science Centre feeds the bats worms and crickets, Sheila Beaubien, Saskatchewan Science Centre’s public program co-ordinator said.

“They eat a lot,” she said.

Bats help pollinate flowers and are known as nature’s pesticide, Beaubien said.

“These animals will eat upwards of their entire weight in flying insects every single night in the summer,” Brigham said.

He said the bats probably won’t go beyond the city limits and will likely return to the building where they were born.

Brigham said he looks forward to teaching people more information about bats during the event.

“I never get tired of it. I never get tired of the cool questions. I never get tired of people saying oh, they’re cool, oh, they’re small or they’re neat, or I think they’re very, very loveable,” Brigham said.

Nearly 400 people showed up for the bat release, including young aspiring batmen and batwomen.

Brigham called the turnout fantastic.

“If that gets them to be a bit more interested in science and in particular the bits of science I do, then the next fabulous scientist might be in this park tonight,” he said.