Inside the World's First Manmade Batcave Built For Wild Bats
Up a crunchy gravel road not far from the Kentucky line, buried in a hillside a few steps from a huge limestone cave network, an audacious experiment is about to take place. The first-ever artificial cave for hibernating bats, built specifically to protect the animals from a debilitating fungal disease, is almost ready to welcome its first residents.
At this point in the season, the bats of Bellamy Cave are still in their summer roosting colony. When temperatures drop and fall takes over, they’ll move to a midseason staging area to acclimate their bodies, and by mid-October — depending on the weather — they’ll fly into their winter cave to sleep the cold away. The Nature Conservancy hopes they’ll pick the customized 78-foot-long, 11-foot-high concrete cave instead.
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