I say Bacardi, you say—rum? That would be natural considering the world’s largest privately held family owned company survived the Cuban revolution as exiles in Miami to become, arguably, the most recognized brand in the world. But did you, when you poured, notice the company icon? A bat! In 1989 Luis “Lubee” F. Bacardi, an heir to the Bacardi Liquor company, founded the international nonprofit Lubee Bat Conservancy, located in north central Florida. The non-profit receives no monies from the company, but continues work through an endowment after Lubee Bacardi’s death, along with grants and private donations.
The central mission of the Lubee Bat Conservancy is to breed exotic, threatened and endangered fruit and nectar bats, protect threatened habitats, research and educate. The conservancy partners with several departments at UF, a natural, considering the University’s on-campus bat house. Other collaborators include the Santa Fe College Zoo, the CDC, National Institute of Health, the Smithsonian, Institute, American Museum of Natural History, Disney, the US Air Force, and international conservation societies.
Bat Naming Rights for Sale
Why bother with bats? Along with bees and butterflies, the only flying mammal is an important pollinator. More than 145 plant genera depend on bats for pollination and seed dispersal. You can help the conservancy protect, breed, and teach about fruit and nectar bats with a donation of $250 to their outreach program. This will allow you to name one of the ten recently born baby bats after yourself or a loved one! Four more are due to arrive soon, but hurry! With a six month gestation period, bats aren’t born every day!
To arrange a private tour, apply for a research grant, or volunteer at the conservancy, contact director Brian Pope, firstname.lastname@example.org and watch for the open house, held on Halloween weekend most years.