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Check Out the World's Largest Summer Bat Colony

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Photo courtesy flickr.com/jenbooks
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The Bracken bats, seen leaving their cave at dusk.

The Mexican free-tailed bats living under the Congress Avenue Bridge are renowned as the world’s largest urban bat colony. But their cousins in the Hill Country are no slouches either.

New tours are beginning at the Bracken Bat Cave, on the outskirts of San Antonio at the Natural Bridge Caverns, where participants can witness the evening exodus of bats from what’s called the world’s largest summer bat colony -- period.

Unlike the bat watching along Lady Bird Lake, the tours aren’t free: they costs $25. But they're being held in conjunction with Bat Conservation International, an Austin-based group dedicated to preserving bats and their habitat.

In a press release, BCI Executive Director Nina Fascione says "Negative myths and misinformation have generated needless fears that have threatened bats and their habitats for centuries. Our goal in opening tours to the public, is to teach more people the truth about bats and the critical need for conservation efforts."

The tours kick off today – this Friday the 13th – and last through October. 

You can check out a video on the Bracken Bat Cave below. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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