Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

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Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby Cheryl Jones » May 27, 2010 6:50 pm

A recent episode of Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild featured Bear Grylls gleefully killing bats with a homemade club. ["I've tried so many times to catch bats in caves, I've never managed it. So this is good news for me."] The clip, which shows Grylls throwing a flame in a cave to "smoke out" the bats, swatting them to the ground and then stomping on them, has aired internationally and been posted on YouTube, allowing for continued access. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYAoAdY6UMA.

Though we understand the show is about survival, we feel that this clip perpetuates negative attitudes toward bats and could generate senseless copycat activity and/or the type of vandalism that is driving many bat species to the brink of extinction. Only four months ago, a Kentucky man was sentenced to eight months in jail after pleading guilty to beating to death 105 endangered Indiana bats.

Please express your disappointment at this anti-conservation message by filling out the feedback form on Discovery Communications website. http://extweb.discovery.com/viewerrelations Let the Discovery executives know:

-This episode undermines decades of bat conservation efforts.

-Bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. They eat agricultural pests, disperse seeds to replenish the rainforest and pollinate a variety of plants.

-Many bats are endangered and the loss of a single species can have ramifications throughout the ecosystem.

-Viewers should be informed that killing bats-or even disturbing them-may be illegal depending on the species and country.

-We would like Discovery Channel to ensure this edition of Born Survivor and related footage is not aired again and that this footage is removed from Youtube, the Discovery Channel website and all other communications

-We hope Discovery Channel uses all its nature programming to forward conservation efforts.

Best regards,
Nina Fascione
Executive Director
Bat Conservation International
P.S. Help spread the word. Forward this to a friend.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby NZcaver » May 27, 2010 8:08 pm

Oh, great. Yet another reason to shake our collective heads at the Bear Grylls concept of "survival" and his producer's often-warped script ideas. :roll:

On the other hand... Bear says he's in south China catching bats (for food) the same way the local tribes do it. One assumes it's common there to harvest bats for food, much like other staple foods and delicacies around the world which mainstream cultures may find odd or distasteful. [Incidentally I ate some Muktuk (frozen whale blubber) earlier this year while spending time in a remote community in Alaska. Please don't report me to Greenpeace. :shhh: ] All I'm saying is different cultures make the world go round, and behavior considered appropriate here may not be appropriate to them and vice-versa.

I'm not a fan of the "JUST AWESOME" in that YouTube video title. I really hope people who watch this footage here in the US don't take what they see out of context and do the copycat thing.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby Chads93GT » May 27, 2010 10:52 pm

Its America. Of course it will be taken out of context. We already have rednecks killing bats in caves for sport and going to jail. May as well add more to the list.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby NZcaver » May 27, 2010 11:49 pm

Chads93GT wrote:Its America. Of course it will be taken out of context. We already have rednecks killing bats in caves for sport and going to jail. May as well add more to the list.

Ah yes, but whose fault is this? Should Bear Grylls and the Discovery Channel be censored, or should we continue to counter with positive bat education and hold local rednecks accountable for their own actions? :shrug:
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby cavedoc » May 28, 2010 1:18 am

FWIW, there is also now a Facebook page on this topic

"I am against the abuse of bats on the Discovery Channel. "

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125270660834659

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gi ... 0660834659
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby Teresa » May 28, 2010 10:41 am

Since I don't have cable, I probably won't be commenting to Discovery, but look at this in another context:
Is it any different than hunting anything? Has the NSS turned into an anti-hunting, animal rights group?
I don't think so.

People should be encouraged to abide by their local wildlife laws, of course, which in the US include not hunting bats. But there are probably more bats killed every year by licensed exterminators than by all yahoos combined.

I think Cheryl had a pretty measured response, but getting up in arms over things like a TV show when we got bigger fish to fry is likely a misdirection of effort.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby cavedoc » May 28, 2010 11:55 am

Teresa wrote:...look at this in another context:
Is it any different than hunting anything? Has the NSS turned into an anti-hunting, animal rights group?
I don't think so.


I also don't think the NSS is turning into an anti-hunting group. But we have traditionally been defenders of bats and other cave loving critters. If this guy had actually eaten the things and said something about how they were protected in many jurisdictions and why, then I would have had no problem with the show. But he didn't. Instead he took pleasure in the killing and alluded gleefully to how he had done it before. This is just setting up copycat bat massacres and the DC is lending its credibility to it. They should be called on it.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby wyandottecaver » May 28, 2010 1:04 pm

for better or worse bear is quite "famous" both for his animal killing and the fakery inherent in his show. As an example, there is another thread here discussing his AL cave exploits of eating a cave cricket and search for "edible cave fish"..(which if he had found them WOULD be a crime in the US).

It's too bad discovery and TLC are turning into the FOX network in respectable clothing more and more.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby ArCaver » May 28, 2010 7:06 pm

Does anyone have any idea what species of bat he killed?
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby hewhocaves » May 29, 2010 9:12 am

TLC has never been anything better than inadequate. The History Channel has turned into the UFO channel. And the only decent thing on Discovery these days is Mythbusters.

Basically, if it's not Nova, Nature or something equivalent I don't bother watching it. As a result, I don't watch much television.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby Teresa » May 29, 2010 11:37 am

wyandottecaver wrote:for better or worse bear is quite "famous" both for his animal killing and the fakery inherent in his show. As an example, there is another thread here discussing his AL cave exploits of eating a cave cricket and search for "edible cave fish"..(which if he had found them WOULD be a crime in the US).


I'm not into eating cave life, but not all cave fish in the US are federally or state protected. Cave fish nuggets make an awfully slim meal, though. If the fellow is "famous for animal killing and the fakery in his show" it sounds like an Animal Planet version of the World Wrestling Federation: People either watch it because it makes them feel superior, knowing that it is "fake" or if they actually believe it is the honest truth, chances are all the letters in the world aren't going to dissuade them. Those folks (even if they have cable) already get into enough wildlife mischief out of their own heads. I don't see that it is any different than various big game (endangered African and Asian) safari hunters, shows, etc. The blood droolers are a very very tiny part of the hunting set, and the less is said about them the better. Even most hunters are embarrassed about them.

We've already given this guy more free publicity than he deserves.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby batrotter » May 29, 2010 9:43 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:It's too bad discovery and TLC are turning into the FOX network in respectable clothing more and more.



What does FOX have to do with it? Or is your bias showing?
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby wyandottecaver » May 30, 2010 4:07 pm

ohh come on Batrotter, everything on cavechat isn't a political agenda. FOX has a well known and well earned reputation for junk tv, and man vs wild for Discovery is cast from the same mold.
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Re: Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby batrotter » May 30, 2010 6:10 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:FOX has a well known and well earned reputation for junk tv



I agree, everything in cavechat is not political, but you were the one that brought up FOX. Is that not political? This thread is talking about the Discovery Channel.

BTW, what TV networks are not known for junk TV?
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Discovery Channel Teaches How to Kill Bats! Call to Action

Postby Ernie Coffman » May 31, 2010 3:59 pm

From one of my contact resources, I understand that Discovery Channel has heard our thoughts on the comments, etc. :clap: and have taken this controversial flick off of the airwaves. :banana_yay:

Thanks to all who have taken the time to fill out the comment pages and let's hope that they don't bring this up, again, in another few months. We've got bigger things to be concerned with than having to watch this idiot killing and burning our friendly little creatures. :bat sticker:
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