Dracu who?

Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I am very happy because I am in the middle of a 4 day weekend! I am going camping with my Girl Scout troop.  I really hope we see some bats flying around.

A photograph of two ypoung white winged vampire bats.
Much more cute than Draculea. White winged vampire bats (Diaemus youngi). Photo by Dan Riskin.

a painted portrait of Vlad Draculea
The real Draculea--not so cute.

As promised, this week we will learn about the real Dracula. There really was a Dracula and he wasn’t a very nice person. His real name was Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. Wallachia is a place in what is now Romania.

Vlad III’s father was inducted into the knightly order called the Order of the Dragon. He got a new last name, Dracul. Dracul means “dragon” in old Romanian. His son, Vlad III, was called Drăculea which means “son of Dracul”. When Vlad III was a child, his father took him and his brother to a meeting he was having with Sultan Murad II. The meeting was a trap to arrest them. The father was released, but the two boys had to stay as prisoners. Eventually they were freed and Vlad III returned to his home in Wallachia.

Vlad III eventually ruled Wallachia three different times. During the time that he was ruler, he tortured and killed many people.  He was killed in battle in 1476.

In 1897, a man named Bram Stoker wrote the book Dracula. He based the character, Dracula, on the real Drăculea. Although the real Drăculea didn’t turn into a bat and fly around, he was still someone that most people were afraid of. Personally, I think he was scarier than any little vampire bat you could find in real life.

If you want to read more about him, you can find some information here. I must warn you, though, if you are someone who doesn’t like to read about scary people, I wouldn’t spend too much time looking up Dracula. I am very glad that he isn’t alive today. I am also glad that the cute little vampire bats that are real are so much nicer and kinder than the person ever was.

And, to everyone who is in the path of Hurricane Matthew, I wish you all the best of luck! I hope you are all safe.

I hope you all have a good week!

[For a fascinating look at real vampire bats, please visit the Vamp Cam, hosted by Organization for Bat Conservation. You won't be disappointed! --Ed.]

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