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Gone to the bats

PostPosted: Jul 31, 2006 9:17 am
by Wayne Harrison
Gone to the bats
Visitors view endangered gray bats and tour the cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

From left, volunteer helpers Elizabeth Bonnert, Joseph Rizzo, 5, and
Catherine Bonnert, members of a tour group, help DiFoxfire, lower right,
teach about the wingspan of a typical gray bat. (ANDREW B. CHURCH /Missourian

Adults and children in bright-blue spelunking helmets ventured into the darkness of Connor’s Cave (Missouri) on Saturday night as gray bats flew out for their nightly hunt.

Visitors came from Columbia and surrounding areas to learn about bats and tour the cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Kathryn DiFoxfire, a park naturalist, taught the visitors about how bats live in the wild and led the tour into the cave.

The star of Saturday’s show was the gray bat, an endangered species that lives seasonally in Missouri caves. The park is the home to over 1,300 of these and other bats, DiFoxfire said.

As a group, the bats consume about 61 pounds of insects every night. This was the second bat-viewing event at Rock Bridge this summer, and it is part of the Bats on Parade program organized by The Friends of Rock Bridge that includes activities for children such as Decorate a Bat. The program began four years ago and runs during the summers.

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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2006 11:58 am
by Phil Winkler
Wow, that's the largest specimen of Gray Bat I've ever seen! If I ever get one that size I'll really have to scale up the recipe to accommodate it.

The best recipe I've ever seen was published in the Huntsville Grotto Newsletter 20 years ago or so.