As the days grow shorter and gloomier, we here at FirstNerve Manor amuse ourselves as best we can. One of our favorite pastimes is called “When Worlds Collide.” The fun begins when you find a smelly news story involving a head-on collision between the forces of PC and NIMBY. Then you climb the creaky stairs up to the fourth floor of the northwest belfry, fire up the hibachi, and enjoy some Jiffy Pop while cackling over mankind’s follies .
This evening in the belfry, we’re enjoying the story of Maclean High School in New South Wales, Australia. Seems that 20,000 or so flying foxes—a species of large bat—have descended on the school and are using it as a roost. In doing so, they’re crapping all over the place and creating a vile, ammonia-like stench. They’re also noisy. Students and teachers are at wits end.
So why not chase them off the property? Ahh—they a protected species, you see. They’re endangered, all 20,000+ of them.
But attempts to move the bats have so far been unsuccessful.“Work around the bats.” That made the martini come out my nose. Pass the popcorn.
The NSW Department of Education, which removed bats 10 years ago, needs a licence and federal government approval to remove them.
[NSW Teachers Federation representative] Ambrose said the federal government had since spent about $30,000 to form a committee to advise the school on how to approach the problem.
He said the initial recommendations, which are yet to be formally accepted, tell the school “to work around the bats”.
“They want us to timetable our classes differently, they don’t want us to do sporting events, they don’t want us to ring our bell, they want us to minimise our voices so we don’t disturb the bats,” he said.