Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here be dragons.....

There are several architechtural curiosities at La Rochelle - the tower and art deco cotage among them. However - unlike most buildings in Zimbabwe, the hotel is elevated off the ground - and the 'crawl space' beneath it is both extensive and spacious. There are several access points - from a cleverly hidden trapdoor on the front verandah, to an obvious door beneath the leaning tower of Penhalonga. (Actually - just held the camera at a bit of an angle!)

The door is facing the pool - you can see the windows of the cellar outlined in the white square at the base of the tower.....

Inside the cellar - at the far end, is a hole in the wall - and this leads to the 'crawl space' - which is absolutely full..... of bats.

As a defence mechanism, that bat droppings are lethal - and this prevents cobras and other large snakes - which would be quite able to reach up and snack on a snoozing bat, from coming into the room.

Folk going to the pool would have smelled a slight hint of amonia - and possibly assumed it was pool chemicals - but it is in fact the bat droppings.

And.....there are a few bats in there.......

A great thing to do - especially with children, is to try and run to the far end of the room through the droppings, shouting and waving your hands in the air! The feel of frantic bat trying to get out of your hair is something that should be experienced by everybody at least once!

Even taking the photos - I had one fly into my face. Cool!

1 comment:

  1. Would you add your bat photos as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist?:

    AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

    Please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

    Many thanks!

    PS: these are slit-faced bats (Nycteris sp)