Going Batty?

This Halloween, be on the lookout for a tireless crusader protecting humans from bloodsucking enemies. Shy, gentle and largely misunderstood, bats are threatened worldwide. "People tend to fear what they don't understand," says Bob Benson of Bat Conservation International. "The reality is that bats are among the most beneficial of all endangered species." A single brown bat nabs 1,200 mosquitoes and crop-damaging insects every hour, plus assists in plant pollination and seed dispersal.

You can thank these elusive heroes through BCI's Adopt a Bat program. For $15, you'll receive a color photo, certificate and an "endearing letter" from your bat.

Contact BCI at 800-538-bats or visit www.batcon.org.

Elisa Bosley

Illustration by Mary Lynn Blasutta