More than 700 wild bats were released in Houston, Texas after undergoing about one week of rehabilitation from exposure to frigid temperatures, a report said.
The Houston Humane Society and Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition announced that the bats were released back to their colony under the city’s Waugh Drive bridge, the Guardian reported.
“Hundreds” more were returned to another colony, the organization said. This comes after 1,544 chilly chiropterans were rescued in and around Houston in 7 days. The bat colony suffered “hypothermic shock”, the Houston Humane Society said adding that their body temperatures plummeted and the bats “were unable to hold on to their roost and fell 15 to 30ft onto the pavement”.
As bats have little body fat, they can’t survive when stuck on the ground in freezing temperatures. Most of the fallen bats survived, with many requiring just heat and hydration “to quick start their systems”, the organisation said.
Mary Warwick, a director at the Houston Humane Society-Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition, said that about 60 bats were still being warmed and hydrated in an incubator.
“It’s hard to feed bats in care, because they normally eat in flight, so we would have to force-feed 1,544 bats, which is a lot,” Mary Warwick said.