Indiana News

Indiana State University hosting weekend bat festival

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – A weekend festival in western Indiana devoted to the world of bats will give festivalgoers a close-up look at a giant species of the flying mammals.

Indiana State University’s Center for Bat Research, Outreach and Conservation is hosting Saturday’s Bat Festival on the Terre Haute campus and a local park.

The festival will include live bat demonstrations, starting with small bats and introducing ever-larger relatives. That live show will culminate with the arrival of a Malayan flying fox, a giant bat from southeast Asian that boasts a wingspan of more than 4 feet.

Center Director Joy O’Keefe tells the Tribune-Star many bats provide “a really valuable service” by devouring up to their weight in insects every night. Their appetites mean farmers must apply fewer pesticides on their crops.