Swimming Bats

November 20, 2018 | Posted In: General

Bats are known for living in caves or under bridges, hanging upside down off of ceilings to sleep, and flying in giant groups at any unsuspecting person that happens to enter their domain and wake them up. You know the often used scene of bats flying in a giant group at people, getting caught in women’s hair, and possibly eating them in the process. Of course, that is not quite the reality, but it is certainly the fear that lies at the back of everyone’s mind when they think of bats. In essence bats are terrifying because they are a bit like flying rats, and rats alone are bad enough, but when you have to worry about them being able to assault you from the ground as well as the air, they become something much more terrifying in people’s minds. But, what people don’t know is that bats aren’t just great flyers, they also know how to swim apparently. This opens up a whole new area where people can stumble upon those terrifying bats.

Multiple videos have been posted on the web of bats swimming like pros. One video from India shows a giant fruit bat doing a mix between the breast and butterfly stroke that would make any competitive swimmer jealous. Bats are actually great swimmers, despite their clearly aerial biological design. This is actually a very good thing too, as a growing problem for bats is getting stuck in the water during an attempt to drop and get a quick drink while in mid-flight. They can’t actually land to get a drink and then take off flying again, so they get their water in-flight, dipping down to get a drink and quickly flying back up all in one motion. Sometimes an obstruction can get in the way or any other number of problem, causing the bat to fall in the water. This is not a problem in the wild, as they can easily swim to the side and crawl out, but in man made pools the walls can be too high for them to be able to pull themselves out of the pool. Many people have reported finding drowned bats in their pool. One way to help out these downed bats is to install a small ramp in their pool that would allow the bat to crawl out. These kinds of ramps are widely available, and are used to also help other animals like frogs escape the steep walls of our pools as well.

Of course, all of this also means that people don’t just need to worry about bats coming from the sky; they can find you in the water too. Think about it. Bats can get you in the air and the water. There is no place to hide!

Have you or anyone you know ever seen a bat either swimming or drowned in a pool