Mexican Free-tailed Bats
These two Mexican free-tailed bats have been warming up this week at Tucson Wildlife Center. Plummeting temperatures during the second week of January caused these winged mammals to suffer from hypothermia. As their body temperatures dropped, they were unable to hold on to their roost and fell onto the ground. And, as bats have little body fat, they cannot survive for long lying on the ground in freezing temperatures.
Mexican free-tailed bats are medium sized bats with reddish to dark brown fur and a tail that extends beyond its tail membrane. Known as the “jets” of the bat world, these bats are built for speed with short fur and long narrow wings and can fly up to 60 miles per hour with a tail wind. Known to be very sociable, they are often found in colonies consisting of hundreds of thousands of individuals. The densest concentration of free-tailed bats are found living in Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas. Their colonies can number over 20,000,000. (http://www.desertmuseum.org/kids/bats/mexican_free_tailed_bat)
If you encounter a bat lying on the ground, it is important to handle the situation with care. Call TWC for further information and advice on the next steps.
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