Flying Bats on the rise in Ranchi city of Jharkhand State of India.
Bats migrated from other parts of the country in search of food.
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
A large number of flying bats have migrated from different parts of the state of Jharkhand and neighbouring states in a play ground in Ranchi city, the capital of Jharkhand state.
According to the different experts they have migrated in search of food. They have made their home in number of eucalyptus trees planted in the ground. Peculiar thing is that they are seen flying in day time in scorching heat and burning sun. In nature most bats are active at night or at twilight and not in bright day light. Bats find shelter in caves, crevices, tree cavities and buildings. Here in Ranchi they are found hanging from the branches. It is not only the incident of Ranchi, bats are also seen in very good amount in small towns near Ranchi. . But to me it is not natural. Such huge amount of migration only happens when their natural habitat has been disturbed.
According to rough estimate, the population of bats which are dwelling in the Eucalyptus trees could be more 500.
Government forest official claims that there is a tremendous increase in the bats population due to its protection from the hunters. He added that the forest department has controlled hunting of bats by local people which was rampant earlier.
Seeing bat flying during day time around the trees was never seen before. Even the bats were never seen earlier in the area mentioned.
According to different local experts bats have migrated from different parts of the country to eat up fruits of the Eucalyptus trees. But if we move around Ranchi city bats are also seen on other varieties of dense trees.
Bats are natural reservoirs or vectors for a large number of zoonotic pathogens including rabies severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Henipavirus (ie. Nipah virus and Hendra virus) and possibly ebola virus Their high mobility, broad distribution, social behaviour (communal roosting, fission-fusion social structure) and close evolutionary relationship to humans make bats favourable hosts and disseminators of disease.
Most people in Ranchi reported about the bats flying inside their houses. This poses great danger to the people inside the house. If a bat is found in living quarters near a child, mentally handicapped person, intoxicated person, sleeping person, or pet, the person or pet should receive immediate medical attention for rabies. Bats have very small teeth and can bite a sleeping person without necessarily being felt. There is evidence that it is possible for the bat rabies virus to infect victims purely through airborne transmission, without direct physical contact of the victim with the bat itself.
If a bat is found in a house and the possibility of exposure cannot be ruled out, the bat should be sequestered. This also applies if the bat is found dead. If it is certain that nobody has been exposed to the bat, it should be removed from the house. The best way to do this is to close all the doors and windows to the room except one to the outside. The bat should soon leave.
3. Anupam Rana, The Pioneer news paper, Ranchi, 15th April 2008.