OVER 1,500 MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BATS SAVED BY SPECIALIST AS FREEZING TEMPS HIT TEXAS
Everything is always bigger in Texas. And now we can say the same for the big freeze that this with this recent Christmas winter storm, that sent temperatures plummeting into the low 20’s. Those aren’t really normal temperatures in Texas, even at this time of year. This freezing weather took everyone by surprise, even with all the warnings we all heard for days before it hit. But wild animals didn’t get the message. Stay inside! Wait until it passes! There is a reason thousands of flights were cancelled nationwide. But the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats had no idea. And why would they? But on Thursday they essentially froze in the air and fell to the ground in scores.
MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BATS COULDN’T HOLD ONTO THEIR PERCHES WHEN TEMPS DROPPED FAST
To be fair, the poor bats didn’t fall out of the air while flying. They hunkered down as best they could. But that really means that they hunkered up, the way many species of bats do. Hanging upside down, away from most predators’ reach. But for far too many of them, the freezing temperatures meant that they couldn’t even keep their upside down grip under the bridges they roost in, and fell helpless to the even colder ground. Fortunately for these Mexican Free-Tailed bats, there were good people around to help them, saving over 1,500 of them from certain death.
MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BATS HAVE NO BODY FAT, AND NEED HELP FAST ONCE ON THE GROUND TO SURVIVE
Mary Warwick was the best of them. She certainly wasn’t planning on having 1,500 plus bats convalescing in her home. Warwick is a bat expert and the Houston Humane Society’s director. She explained that these poor Mexican Free-Tailed bats went into hypothermic shock from the cold and just can’t hold onto their inverted perches. The small mammals don’t have much body fat to speak of, and can’t keep a safe body temperature after they fall to the ground. To stay alive, they need lots of warmth and fluids. And that’s what Warwick delivered, to more than 1,500 of the spooky creatures.
Despite her heroic efforts, 100 of the poor creatures have already perished.