Animals and Insects

Over 1,000 bats rescued in Houston area due to freezing cold

Nearly 1,300 bats that migrate from Texas to Mexico have been rescued this week as the Houston area experiences record-low temperatures.

An employee of the Houston Humane Society Wildlife Center saving a cold-stunned bat.
An employee of the Houston Humane Society Wildlife Center saving a cold-stunned bat.
Houston Humane Society Wildlife Center - TWRC
SMS

With temperatures struggling to rise above the freezing mark on Monday and Tuesday, the Houston Humane Society said it was rescuing as many cold-stunned bats as it could. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the agency said it had collected over 1,300 bats from four different colonies. The group says that the Mexican free-tailed bats are recovering quickly once rescued. 

"As temperatures look to remain below freezing throughout the rest of today and overnight, our staff remain dedicated to helping as many cold-stunned bats as possible across the city," the Houston Humane Society said. 

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Mexican free-tailed bats generally migrate through the Texas Hill Country from late October through mid-November. They generally spend their winters in Mexico. 

Migrants sent to Chicago encountering dangerous cold, says Ill. gov.
Migrants sent to Chicago encountering dangerous cold, says Ill. gov.

Migrants sent to Chicago encountering dangerous cold, says Ill. gov.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says migrants are arriving in Chicago's sub-zero wind chills wearing sandals and do not have coats.

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Officials say there are only a handful of suitable sites for large maternal colonies as they require high humidity and temperature levels. 

After spending their winters in caves in Mexico, the bats start migrating to Texas in February. 

The Mexican free-tailed bat was named Texas' state flying mammal in 1995. 

The bats are generally 3.5 inches to 4.25 inches long, with a 1- to 1.5-inch tail. 

Officials say if you see a cold-stunned bat, don't rescue it yourself. They recommend calling an area humane society.

According to the National Weather Service, the low temperature dropped to 18 degrees on Tuesday, marking a daily record in Houston. The high temperature on Monday was 33, marking the coldest high for the day.