Manchester Bat Sanctuary, the city’s second most visited attraction after the Pusher serial killer tour, has come under heavy criticism after announcing their re-opening on Twitter using a hashtag baring similar wording to a far more prominent one already trending.
The centre announced in February that dwindling visitor numbers and strong mistrust of the creatures due to the pandemic meant the sanctuary had to close. But at a time of growing solidarity and with months of much needed charity donations, the reservation said this week that they planned to reopen as soon as Government guidelines allowed.
Spank Fingermonkey, director of the sanctuary, said: “Just when we thought people had turned their backs on bats, we managed to save the sanctuary and can now re-open.”
But around the world, confusion reigned as people uniting in the fight against racism found themselves accidentally rallying for the nocturnal winged mammals instead. In one American town #BatLivesMatter was hung from the town hall on a twenty foot banner and attracted the surrounding chiropterologists.
Gwen Shitcake, leading US studier of bats, was present at the rally. “We are a peaceful group of bat loving people and we answered the call to arms after the hashtag trended on Twitter. When we got there, the police opened fire on with rubber bullets and tear gas.”
“Bats do not carry guns and are not more likely to kill each other.”
Photos of activists holding placards demanding Leave Bats Alone and Police Hate Bats led one US mayor to admit at a press conference: “In light of the current situation, I myself have viewed bats in a different light since the virus outbreak. But the police as a whole have not targeted bats and will not going into the future.”
Shitcake was also quick to clarify: “Bats do not carry guns and are not more likely to kill each other.”
In Manchester, though, the bat sanctuary has been busy planning for their re-opening now the world’s focus is on them.
Fingermonkey declared: “We’re asking people to obey social distancing, as of course, the bats will be doing.”
Gert Thundercock, head bat trainer at the sanctuary, told us: “We’ve been extensively training them to adapt their radar so when they fly, they’re adhering to the two metre social distancing rule at all times.”
“We’ve also slowly altered their sleep patterns,” he explained. “So, they’ll be awake in the day and asleep at night. That way the bat’s we’ve trained to do tricks can perform at hourly live shows.”
What tricks, the trainer is keeping under wraps. “I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say you’ve never seen a bat ride a unicycle until you’ve visited us.”