On Thursday November 4, 2010, Dr. Todd Austin had the opportunity to teach 265 North Mac (Girard Elementary School) students about bats. Austin, a Virden Chiropractic Physician, has been an avid bat conservationist for exactly twenty years this month!
Austin, also known as ‘The Bat Doctor’, has been speaking about bats to audiences of all ages throughout IL for 15 years. Since that time, he has delivered a total of 60presentations and has educated over 3,600 people about these mysterious flyers of the night.
Dr. Austin educated all Girard K through 5th graders on Thursday with one of his many Powerpoint slide presentations. Half of the slides are from Austin’s own personal volunteer work with bats over the years.
During the presentation, Austin covered:
* how he initially got interested in studying and doing conservation work with bats,
* some fascinating facts about vampire bats,
* why he refers to all 12 of our IL bat species as “Insect Eating Machines” and
* how fruit bats help the rainforests to survive.
‘The Bat Doctor’ finished up his presentation by using slides to introduce the children to many of the newest bat friends that he’s made over the past 2 years, including a few red bats, several brown bats and an Egyptian flying fox.
Austin donated two books Zipping, Zapping Zooming Bats and Zoobooks: Bats to the school library. Virden’s ‘Bat Doctor’ also left bat rings for all of the students.
Photo # 1 caption: Virden’s Bat Doctor educated 47 North Mac (Girard) kindergarteners about bats on 11-4-10.
Photo # 2 caption: ‘The Bat Doctor’ spoke to 46 Girard 1st graders shortly after Halloween 2010.
Photo # 3 caption: Dr. Todd educated 42 North Mac (Girard) 2nd grade students about bats on November 4th.
Photo # 4 caption: The Bat Doctor spoke to 46 North Mac (Girard) 3rd graders on Thursday.
Photo # 5 caption: Dr. Austin spoke to 43 Girard 4th graders four days after All Hallows Eve 2010.
Photo # 6 caption: Virden’s Bat Doctor educated 41 Girard 5th grade kids about the world’s only true flying mammals on 11-4-10.