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A small relative of an Australian possum visited us at The Scrap Box. Such an interesting animal, the sugar glider: a marsupial which can become airborne! This one was born in captivity; the mother had been someone’s pet. While she looks so charming, her human keeper, Dale Smart, said that as pets they require constant attention: being carried most of the day as they sleep in a little pouch which buckles to a belt, then up all night feeding and moving around. Oh, and then they have odorous scent glands to mark territory…

Dale Smart works for the Organization for Bat Conservation at Cranbrook Institute of Science. The public is invited to see award-winning live bat programs that explore the fascinating world of bats, how to attract them, and much more. These programs feature vampire bats, large fruit bats (with 4 to 6 foot wingspans) and others.

In addition to bats, they take in a variety of other injured small animals which can no longer live in the wild. Mr. Smart had been making a presentation at a local school when he stopped in to The Scrap Box to pick up some materials to build a display.

This is a flying squirrel native to this area. He’s not used to being handled, so Mr. Smart did not let him out of his cage but you can see what agile climbers these creatures are.

Event: 10th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival
Event Date: July 9, 2011
Location: Cranbrook Institute of Science
Presented by: Organization for Bat Conservation
Cost: The event is for all ages and free with museum admission.
Presentations, live animals, hands-on activities, crafts for kids, and exhibits will provide a full day of fun and environmental education on Saturday, July 9th from 10 AM to 6 PM. An evening of family activities with live music will be from 6 PM to 8 PM on the Cranbrook grounds. The 10th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival will finish with a bat science experience at the Rouge River from 8 PM to 10 PM. Don’t miss this opportunity to watch bat experts catch wild insect-eating bats while they forage for food.