As the Pandemic Inflames Old Fears, Texas’s ‘Bat Man’ Urges: Don’t Blame Bats

As the Pandemic Inflames Old Fears, Texas’s ‘Bat Man’ Urges: Don’t Blame Bats

Merlin Tuttle with a bat.On a late summer evening in 2019, a small, flat-bottomed riverboat pulled away from the south shore of Austin’s downtown waterway, Lady Bird Lake. Its destination: the Congress Avenue Bridge, whose underside is home to 1.5 million tiny, fuzzy free-tailed bats. The boat’s passengers scanned the eastern horizon as the sky faded to a deep, slate-y blue. In a minute a call went up: “There’s one!” Then there was another, then twenty, and in a few minutes thousands, a swoosh of wings as the bats flew off to feast on insects over the farms and fields east of the city. Back on the bat boat, the passengers—myself among them—strolled around chatting and sipping plastic glasses of the mezcal that someone had thoughtfully supplied. Then a…View Original Post

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Source: Texas Monthly

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