Going Batty

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Dateline Americus, Georgia: The animal uprising has almost concluded it's master plan to take over an American town with aerial shock troops. They have driven the last man who had been trying to stem the tide into crying uncle. The Batman has been defeated.

By the bats.

AMERICUS, Ga. – So many bats have infested the town's historic district that the sky turns black with each sunset and the neighborhood is calling on Batman to come to the rescue.

That's what the local bat remover goes by. George Perkins often makes public appearances in the caped crusader's costume and drives his own Batmobile — a retro-styled Chrysler Prowler with bat emblems. Callers to his office in Eufaula, Ala., known as Bat Cave 1, or Union Springs, Ala., known as Bat Cave 2, hear the "Batman" TV show theme while on hold.

The bat-weary residents of Americus aren't laughing. The problem is even too big for Batman, and now the state has promised to help. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has proposed a long-term plan that includes surveying the bat population, possibly training city workers to do bat removals for needy homeowners and building bat houses in safe areas where the flying mammals can continue providing environmental benefits without being a nuisance.

"They're perpetual crap machines," said Tripp Pomeroy, who moved to the town of 17,000 in 1989 to work for Habitat for Humanity, which has its global headquarters here.

Pomeroy, now the co-owner of a fair-trade, organic coffee company known as Cafe Campesino, said he's spent $1,500 trying to evict bats from the attic of his 96-year-old traditional Southern home. Because of the health risks, he's reluctant to let his children sleep in their upstairs bedrooms.

Millions of bats — the leading cause of human rabies in the U.S. — have moved into the attics of Antebellum and Greek Revival mansions built in the 1800s and Victorian homes from the early 1900s in Americus' historic district covering about a third of the town's 10 square miles.

"The homes … in this small town are like art," said Deanna Burgess, a Minnesota native who recently moved into a Greek Revival home built in 1856. "They need to be brought back and preserved for future generations."

The state of Georgia is supposed to be helping out. Soon, they say. Of course, they won't let the besieged residents do what really needs to be done. Georgia defines bats as protected and will fine people up to $1,000 per bat if they kill the varmints. So playing batminton is right out.

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One Response to Going Batty

  1. Tom says:

    Bet they don’t have many mosquitos around!

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