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Chiropteran Reservoirs. Bat Keepers and BatCarers in Ghana and Australia / Journal Ethnos online pre-publication

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AUTHORS: FRÉDÉRIC KECK and ARNAUD MORVAN




Frédéric Keck & Arnaud Morvan (2023): Chiropteran Reservoirs. Bat

Keepers and Bat Carers in Ghana and Australia, Ethnos, DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2023.2226360


This article studies how zookeepers and wildlife rescuers build relations with bats

using experimental apparatuses such as cages. Arguing that interspecies

communication with bats as reservoirs of infectious diseases can be described

through material environments, such as a bat shelter in Ghana and a bat refuge in

Australia, rather than in the short contacts between bats and ‘virus hunters’, it

questions how humans can take the perspective of bats in contemporary

assemblages of biosecurity. While bat keepers in Accra take the perspective of bats

through the viruses they carry as a colony, in a cynegetic logic of storage, bat

carers in Australia take the perspective of bats by sharing bodily fluids, in a pastoral

logic of care. What is shared in the interspecies communication is framed by the

material design of the biosecurity apparatus.


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