Bats are back at Carlsbad Caverns

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Bats are back at Carlsbad Caverns

Postby Wayne Harrison » May 20, 2007 10:50 am

Every year, the swallows return to Capistrano and the bats flitter back to Carlsbad Caverns.

A visitor to Carlsbad Caverns will get there just in time to see the bat flights, which have been closed down for the last several months, according to the National Park Service.

The bat flight presentations close down from mid-October to mid-May because the bats are migratory, said Bridget Litten, public affairs specialist for the park.

"They kind of use Carlsbad Caverns as a hotel," she explained.

Luckily for visitors, the bats have checked in, and a formal bat flight program begins today.

During the program, conducted near dusk, a ranger speaks to guests gathered in the amphitheater at the cave's entrance. As well as debunking myths about the bats (wrongfully accused of drinking blood or being scary), the ranger entertains with bat facts.

Of course, when the bats begin to flit out of the cave in a miniature bat tornado -- a third of a million of them -- everybody goes quiet.

While the inhabitants of San Antonio's Bracken Cave form the largest bat colony in the world, Carlsbad Caverns is the place where bat spectators can get the closest.

"This is the closest place to get to an entrance to a cave and watch the bats fly out," Litten said.

"The bat flight -- it's something you can't miss."

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Wayne Harrison
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