Officials are trying to stop the Canyon Bat Challenge before it gets out of hand.

It isn’t known exactly when The Canyon Bat Challenge began.  For those born this century it’s a perfectly normal thing to catch a bat and train it to do tricks.  For those born in the previous century, it’s proof the children of Canyon and a handful of eccentric adults have completely lost their minds.

The bat in the Canyon Bat Challenge is the Mexican free-tailed bat.  The spring forward time change is the signal that the Mexican free-tails use to begin gathering for migration to Oklahoma.  Those attempting the challenge first trap a bat.  Then they train the bat in any of a variety of tricks.  Sit, shake, and catching a Frisbee are popular choices. Although the mini Frisbees are difficult to get, you won’t even find them on Amazon. The Canyon Bat Challenge is completed when you post video of your bat doing a trick without pecking your eyes out.

YouTube is littered with videos of children and idiots of all ages documenting completion of the Challenge.  At least three local YouTube users have posted videos receiving rabies shots following several fails.  One user was banned when it was deemed her video fail included inhumane treatment of the bat she was training to roll over and play dead.  The video ends on what appears to be a successful and convincing pantomime of bat death, when it is in fact the poor and tortured animal expiring from eating too many training treats.

Many believe the Canyon Bat Challenge could also be a gateway challenge, leading local chuckleheads to other potentially more embarrassing challenges.  They might try eating laundry detergent pods or even harass the widow and old maid shoppers in the floral section of the craft store.

And while it may sound fun to tame a feral bat and teach it tricks it is very, well challenging.

The true victims are those who naively pursue the Canyon Bat Challenge while hoping to provide new knowledge and insight into the behavior and personalities of the Mexican free-tails.  If they’d done a simple internet search they’d know we already know all we need to know about these bats.  They can’t be bargained with.  They can’t be reasoned with.  They don’t feel pity or remorse or fear.  And they absolutely will not stop, ever.

The Canyon Police Department prefers you refrain from trapping, training, or otherwise molesting or bothering any bats.  Additionally, if you find a dead bat on the ground, presumably dumped by someone who failed the Challenge, please call Canyon Animal Control and they will make the necessary arrangements.  Most Mexican free-tails are Orthodox Latvian Baptist and Canyon Animal Control has the only copy of OLB burial rites.

It is also important that you not touch or celebrate the bat’s death in any way.  You could offend nearby bats in mourning, common practice among OLB members.  Incidentally, if you find a dead bird, squirrel, opossum, Chupacabra, dog, cat, or any other deceased creature on the ground, do not touch it, move it, or try to put it on your sister. It has cooties and may possibly also have rabies.  Call Canyon Animal Control for removal.