In Italy, a partnership with the Walt Disney Co. is already helping shift that perception. The Natural History Museum of Florence has been selling bat boxes since 2006 and trying to get the public excited about bats. In 2010, Disney Italy joined the project and created a new cartoon character, Kiro the bat, who is pals with Donald Duck. It's a chubby blue bat that chases mosquitoes in a series of comic books for kids. Interest grew substantially, and more families erected bat boxes; about 25,000 have been erected in the past four years.