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 sanctuary
  Bat World is the only bat sanctuary on the planet.
Bat World provides home, protection for misunderstood creatures
Nestled in the hills near Clark Gardens in far western Parker County is a gem that is known throughout the world but not often mentioned local- ly. Bat World Sanctuary, run by Amanda Loller and in its 24th year, is the only bat sanctuary on the planet.
Loller quite literally stum- bled into her life’s calling when she found an injured bat in downtown Mineral Wells in 1988.
“I was really nervous about getting near it, because I’d heard that bats are vermin,” Loller said. “But I couldn’t
just leave it there, I wanted to help.”
After scooping up the bat on a newspaper, Loller took it to her store in downtown Mineral Wells and went to her local library to do a little homework on bats.
“They were nothing like I had been led to believe,” Loller said. “I took the bat home with me, and her injury turned out to be permanent, and she had nowhere to go but to stay with me.
“I realized there was a real need here for education and rehab. I liquidated all the fur- niture in my store and started Batworld.”
Native bats in Texas are “insectivorous” and exclusively eat flying bugs, thus helping
to control the pest population. They are particularly helpful in destroying insects that damage crops. Fruit and nectar bats
help create around 450 com- mercial products and more than 80 medicines thanks to seed dispersal and pollination.
“We get tequila thanks
to bats,” Loller said. “If you love tequila, then you should love bats. Freetail bats give us about a billion dollars worth of pest control every year. They’re great for the environment.”
Calling them “addictive,” Loller has dedicated her life to saving bats and educating oth- ers about them.
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