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Every single living thing has a unique part in our wonderful ecosystem.  And I’m not talking only about beautiful flowers, the beautiful canopy of trees or cute terrestrial and aquatic animals.  I also would like to stress that even creepy crawlies like worms, bugs, slimy reptiles and even bats.  Yes, you heard that right.  Bats, the creatures always associated with vampires and horror films mean as much as us humans.  Fortunately, a lot of environmentalists like Araceli Ayuste know this for a fact and have dedicated a lot of their time and resources to make sure that our little friends don’t lose their homes.

According to Guinness World Record, the world’s largest known population of Geoffrey’s Rousette fruit bats was located in a cave in the Island Garden City of Samal.  In 2010, there was an estimated 1.8 million bats in that single cave alone and now it has risen to an estimated 2.5 million bats.

Thankfully, Araceli Ayuste has discovered another home for the Rousette fruit bats.  She was in the middle of inspecting her properties when she saw children hovering over dead bats.  She later found out that the property in Dadatan where a cave that housed those bats was for sale so she bought and made it into a bat sanctuary to protect them.

The Rousette fruit bats do not pose any threat to us humans.  There have been no reports of humans acquiring diseases from bats and no research that supports this common belief.  Actually they help in the pollination of the durian fruits and wild banana.  In addition, the “guano” or excrement of bats can be used as a fertilizer.

If only we were to disseminate helpful information, I’m sure that more and more people will be able to appreciate and honor the contribution of these fruit-loving bats.  We will be able to help nature maintain its balance and all of us will be able to benefit from it.  The discovery of Araceli Ayuste of the Dadatan bat cave proves to be a blessing as we know that they are increasing in population and that a passionate advocate of the environment is taking care of one of their homes.  The Dadatan Bat Conservation Park is open to everyone who wants to view the bats and for those who want to be educated more about them.
In Photo: Francis Pe Benito, son of Araceli Lanoy Ayuste