Bats in the fernery
Ever since they came to town, the common reaction to the bats has been one of aversion. The fernery used to be a romantic place where children could look for fairies and young couples hide away for a kiss. But where's the fun in that if you're hit mid-smooch by a flying piece of noxious excreta. Nor do the bats do themselves any favours by giving off a hideous stench and hanging upside down from the trees while contemplating their evening foray into the night skies above Bendigo.
My other concern is that the council is keen to open up the fernery by adding more gates to the heritage fencing, thus turning it into some sort of bat theme park. Just what does council think will happen to the hapless tourists as they gaze skywards?
Importantly, by changing the fernery's structure and opening it up to more bats and people the essence of the fernery will be destroyed. The fernery is essentially a secret, mysterious place with a running stream, little bridges, dells, shady trees and ferns.
Magic in the 21st century is at a premium. Why destroy the little we have?
Dianne Dempsey, Bendigo
All animals need protection
I applaud the decision by Mayor Jennifer Alden and her fellow councillors to protect the bats in Rosalind Park.
For too long, humans have claimed superiority over other species. We have labelled them "pets," "pests," "entertainment" and "food." They are none of these things.
As Philip Wollen OAM says in a speech on YouTube: "We torture and kill two billion sentient living beings every week.
Ten thousand species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one, and we are now facing the sixth mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organisation did this, a biologist would consider them a virus."
Wise words indeed from a former Vice-President of Citibank and General Manager of Citicorp. Mr Wolllen was named in the Australian Business Magazine's "Brightest and Best" top 40 headhunted executives in Australia when he was 34 years old.
Marc Bekoff, emeritus professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado says the science clearly shows that, with 2,500 studies on the topic, we need to acknowledge that other animals are sentient beings.
Bekoff says "When we listen to our hearts, we are recognising how much we know about what other animals are feeling and that we owe it to them to protect them however we can." ("After 2,500 Studies, It's Time to Declare Animal Sentience Proven (Op-Ed)" https://www.livescience.com/39481-time-to-declare-animal-sentience.html ).
So please, let's learn to share our planet with other species who have as much right to live as we do.
Zerin Knight, Maiden Gully
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