Human Depredation by Vampire Bats (Desmodus rotundus) Following a Hog Cholera Campaign

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  • Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History, New York

Hog cholera control efforts in Belize in 1975 included the slaughter of village pigs, a primary food source for the vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). The bats then fed on secondary food sources, including humans. In 1 village, 22% of the families interviewed were exposed to attacks: 17 children and 2 adults were bit. Human depredation was not continuous as Desmodus located other hosts.