Lubee Bat Conservancy will host its 8th Annual Florida Bat Festival in Gainesville on Oct. 27, from 10a.m. to 4p.m., providing a rare opportunity for the general public and wildlife lovers to visit a working research and conservation center to see some of the largest species of bat face-to-face. This is the only day of the year when the center is open to the public, and is expected to draw some 5,000 people from Gainesville and beyond.
The Lubee Bat Conservancy, a non-profit organization, houses the largest collection of fruit bats in the world, and it works with global conservation partners to protect at-risk species of bats. Efforts are focused on plant-visiting “fruit and nectar” bats because they are vulnerable to extinction yet vital to the world’s rainforests and deserts and to the economies of developing countries.
The free festival will be held on the grounds of the conservancy, a 110-acre ranch, located at 1309 N.W. 192nd Ave. in Gainesville. Each year this event features free activities, including bat-themed crafts and games for kids, educational exhibits, presentations by bat experts, and the unique opportunity to see live fruit bats with five-foot wingspans on exhibit in our Bat Zone. Local vendors will be spread across the grounds of the conservancy selling food and beverages, providing local environmental educational information, and selling batty merchandise.
Proceeds from the festival will be used to fund education and awareness programs for schools, libraries, scouting troops, and wildlife and conservation groups to promote awareness about the benefits bats provide.
For more information, or to sign up for our newsletter, please visit www.lubee.org