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Arlington to Host “Bat Fest” Event Later This Month

Arlington will host an all-things-bat event later this month for families looking to learn more about the nocturnal mammals.

Next Saturday, August 24, people can check out the festival at the Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 Military Road) from 6:30-9 p.m. The event will include a live bat show as well as games, crafts, and a walk to teach participants more about bat habitats.

The bat shows are led by Leslie Sturges, who runs the Save Lucy Campaign conservation program. Sturges is a former Smithsonian zookeeper who founded a Virginia bat rescue center called Bat World NOVA.

Sturges also wrote a book called “Lucy’s Story,” which follows the life of an imaginary little brown bat named Lucy as bats nationwide struggle with a deadly fungus that’s decimating many bat populations.

Animal Control Chief Jennifer Toussaint previously told ARLnow that the epidemic has hit the county hard, and asked residents’ help in saving any of the remaining ones.

“Eight years ago as an officer I would periodically bring in little brown bats,” she said. “I haven’t seen one in about two years.”

Organizers for the Arlington festival wrote in the Facebook event description that the event is a chance, “enjoy a thoroughly batty evening and add to your knowledge of local night life.”

Registration is required for the festival, and costs $5. Anyone interested in attending can sign up on the county’s website, or by calling the Nature Center at 703-228-3403.

Image via Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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