Local bat expert shares his passion with kids

By: allison.harris@kxii.com
By: allison.harris@kxii.com

DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- A Texoma educator is an avid volunteer -- especially during the Halloween season.

He takes time out of his busy schedule each year to teach kids about a creepy creature that's taken his love of science to new heights!

Allison Harris brings us this "batty" story.

We're here at Northwest Heights Elementary School in Durant where a local professor is brewing up some facts and stories about these eery animals and how bats live in the wild.

Bats are a Halloween icon, but how much do we really know about the creatures?

"Bats have usually been associated with things at night," Byron Clark said.

Byron Clark is the SOSU Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. He became a bat fanatic when he caught a bat at a young age.

"And I put it in a box and I took it to school for show and tell," Clark said.

Now he shares his passion with today's generation. Clark has taught Texoma's kids about bats for more than 20 years.

"A creature that they know little about and sort of trying to get rid of some of those myths about bats that people have," Clark said.

What does he want you to know about bats? First of all, they're just about everywhere.

"I've captured I think nine or ten different species of bats here in Bryan County," Clark said.

There are 1,100 different bat species: 22 in Oklahoma and 32 in Texas.

"That old adage blind as a bat is not true at all. Not only can they see with their eyes, they have that unique ability to echo-locate. They can detect things as thin as a human hair," Clark said.

His mission with all of these presentations is simple.

"Bats often times get a bad rap. Sort of trying to get rid of some of those myths about bats that people have," Clark said.

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