Over 1500 bats lost their grip and fell to the ground underneath a bridge in Houston after going into hypothermic shock during a recent cold front.
According to the Houston Human Society, the Mexican free-tailed bats went into shock when temperatures plunged below freezing last week.
The society’s Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center rescued hundreds of bats from beneath the bridge, along with another group of bats that fell into hypothermic shock, said center director Mary Warwick. She said some were recuperating in dog kennels in the attic of her home. Nearly 700 of the estimated 1,500 rescued bats were set to be released back into the wild on Wednesday, she said.
It’s the second big rescue this week after 130 bats were freezing on the ground under Waugh Street Bridge.
The humane society is now working to raise money for facility upgrades that would include a bat room, Warwick added.
“That would really help in these situations where we continue to see these strange weather patterns come through,” she said
Another batch of more than 40 bats from the Waugh Street Bridge has been rescued as well
“Once the weather warms back up on Wednesday, we can release them. Any of them that appear sick — maybe they got dehydrated or have some kind of injury –we’re sorting them out and they will stay in rehab for longer,” Warwick said.
To make more room for other bats in the cold days ahead, some of the ailing Pearland bats will be transported to Bat World, a sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas.