Officials say a bat is caught in a fishing line hanging over the lake. Anger follows
A bat hanging from a tree, but not with its feet. It was attached to a loose fishing line caught on one end, hanging upside down over a lake inside Colorado National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park rangers have tried to help the bats as they hang over Dream Lake — abandoned fishing lines and hooks can be deadly to bats, birds and other wildlife.
Park officials posted photos on Facebook showing the bat hanging from a branch above the lake and resting on a rock with the barbed hook still attached to the bottom of its wing.
The bat was still alive when rangers arrived, officials said in a July 18 Facebook post, but later died after being caught on its barbed fishing hook — which is prohibited in the park’s catch-and-release waters.
Officials said that non-barbed hooks are allowed in waters like Lake of Dreams.
“What’s wrong with people! A rhetorical question,” someone captioned under the photo.
Someone wondered how the hanger would get a lure from a tree – and someone was outraged by his weight.
“Well, a good first step would be to not use the forbidden temptations in the garden,” they wrote. “Second, if you can’t download it, call a non-emergency line to the park and ask them what to do.”
Officials have warned visitors to the park to ensure they adhere to the “leave no trace” principles to protect bats and other wildlife.
“We can all do our part and leave no trace of our activities when rebuilding in the park,” officials said. “It takes an extra effort sometimes, sure. Is it worth it? Yes!”
Officials said park visitors should take a few extra minutes to remove signs of human activity while out on trails or viewing an alpine lake.
Officials said: “If you see things like fishing lines, hooks or rubbish being left behind (even if you didn’t leave it) – please push it forward and pack it up”. “And for those who have already done this – you are the best!”
Officials said bats are “incredible” members of healthy ecosystems.
“They prey on insects, such as mosquitoes and crop pests. For example, little brown bats have been known to catch and eat more than 150 mosquitoes in 15 minutes.”
Officials said they also pollinate the plants and spread the seeds. There are nine known species of bats in the park, and they are found at elevations ranging from 7,600 feet to 11,350 feet.
People shared their anger in the comments.
They said, “I can understand how someone can’t fall back from great heights (which is one of the reasons why they don’t throw it close to trees).” “But the use of a barbed hook in the RMNP – especially in Dream Lake – is unforgivable.”
Most commentators agree with them.
Someone said “this stinks”. “I would say that’s careless behavior, but it’s worse than that, because they were using illegal inducements. Wrong on a lot of levels.”
Another person shared that while they love to fish, anglers need to be responsible for their lost hooks and baits – barbed or not.
They said “Don’t take or leave anything when coming to or leaving the woods”.
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