Bats are being killed so people can suck their blood

Thousands of bats are sold for their blood each month in Bolivia, supposedly to help treat epilepsy and other ailments.

It’s not hard to find bats for sale in the marketplaces of Bolivia. They’re usually tucked away in pungent shoeboxes, some with as many as 20 bats jammed together, the live ones crawling over those that have already succumbed to disease or stress.

People buy them so they can drink fresh bat blood for its purported healing properties—particularly, they think, to help manage epilepsy. “The belief is well-rooted within our society, mainly in the Andes,” explains bat specialist Luis F. Aguirre, director of the center for biodiversity and genetics at the University of San Simon, in Cochabamba. “I receive calls requesting bats at least five times a year,” he says.

Aguirre is not in the business of selling bats to the highest

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