Action movie fans worldwide are excited for “The Expendables 2,” which opens this Friday. Unfortunately, bat loving action movie fans can’t share that enthusiasm — not since it came to light that during filming, the crew conducted construction and filming inside Devetashka Cave, a natural monument in Bulgaria which houses thousands of bats. Although the permit issued required the crew to film outside and refrain from conducting explosions, chases, or fires nearby, tire tracks of large vehicles were found inside the cave and plant material had been removed from around the cave mouth. On later investigation, areas normally full of hibernating bats were empty and a large number of dead bats were found.
Besides being a national monument, the cave is a home for many endangered and protected species of bats in the winter. Or at least it was — a Bulgarian zoologist has investigated and reported that the bat population in the cave has been reduced to a quarter of its original size. The filming was not only illegal according to Bulgarian law, it contravened the agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats. The permit issued has since been struck down by a Bulgarian court, and the local contractors who did the vegetation removal have been fined.
Please spread the word: bat lovers, join the boycott of “The Expendables 2″ and don’t support a film that was made in such an ecologically irresponsible way.