Hollywood Movie Hurt Bats?

It was reported that after filming was done for “The Expendables 2″ at an important bat habitat in Bulgaria, the number of bats there decreased significantly. Boyan Petrov from the Museum of Natural History said, “Several thousand bats are missing from the Devetashka cave since our latest count in January when the visible colonies numbered 33,800 bats.” (Source: Google News)

A bat expert said it is scientifically proven when bats are disturbed during the winter period they drop off by spring. Bats survive the winter by hibernating. If they are awakened too often their fat reserves are used up and they can die from exhaustion or starvation. Normally they sleep through the period of the coldest temperatures and absence of food sources, waking in early spring when the insects return.

Once source says the number of bats in the Devetashka cave went from 35,000 to 10,000 either from deaths or from some leaving the location. Devetashka Cave is home to two endangered bat species, and eleven other protected bats.

An official from Bat Conservation International said, “Such activity is inexcusable in a cave where bats are hibernating and significant mortality is virtually inevitable. We call on the Bulgarian government to fulfill its legal and moral obligations to the country’s wildlife. And we urge the movie’s producers and stars to support – financially – local environmentalists’ efforts to restore and protect the cave and to help these battered bats recover from the damage.” (Source: Bat Conservation)

Some people don’t like bats, but they are worth billions of dollars to agriculture because they consume enormous numbers of insect pests, and they do this at no cost to humans. They also pollinate many species of plants. Five hundred species of tropical plants are entirely or partly dependent on bats for pollination. Bananas, mangoes and guavas are just several of these hundreds of plants. Bananas are the most popular fruit for humans and their exports are worth over $5 billion per year. Therefore, we can appreciate the fact they naturally provide us with important free services.


Image Credit:  Nikola.grancharov – Pubic Domain/Wiki Commons

Related Links
Bats Worth Billions to Agriculture
Dwindling Bat Populations Threaten US Food Supply


Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


janet herbruck
janet herbruck5 years ago

ignorance is no excuse anymore--we must protect nature at all costs even if it "costs" us by not doing something like making a movie

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

Trying to determine what is worse:

this did not happen during production of a Batman movie
the un-inspired title, The Expendables 2
the phrase Devetashka cave is used, but not once "the bat cave"
or that, there is a Bulgarian, designated to count the 33,800 bats

Glenn Blackwell.......Jackson, Mississippi

Anne G.
Anne G6 years ago

Well, it's obvious the Bulgarians think more about money than bats, a little bit of goodwill (money) from the movie producers would go a long way, I'm sure.

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago

This is infuriating.

Beverly G.
bev g6 years ago

dont go and c pikkys. Deffo not this one. Poor Bats, we need them like the bees and all... This has obviously upset them, MAN has intruded on their space and life and scared them so they have died.

Carrie Anne Brown

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

robin d.
robin d6 years ago

if this is a protected environment and it is known that disturbing bats during their hibernation can cause death WHY were they allowed to film there? more needs to be done to insure that protected areas are respected and not allow practices in them that can cause problems for the creatures inhabit these areas. The movie company should have a responsibility to assist in the recovery of the population and the further protection of them.

Barbara DeFratis
Barbara DeFratis6 years ago

Thank you for the info. I will be passing on this movie too.

Isabel Ramirez
Isabel Ramirez6 years ago

The movie producer should donate a percentage of their profits to organizations that are doing their best to protect the bats.