After the floods of Harvey, some Houstonians are joining the rescue efforts to save a nocturnal population in Houston:
The city’s famed bats.
Hundreds of thousands of bats live in the city, and anyone familiar with Houston is at least aware of the bat colony under Waugh Street Bridge.
The colony population is around 250,000, according to Popular Science, but their home under the bridge downtown is right over Buffalo Bayou.
As floodwaters rose, thousands of bats took to the air to escape the water, some of them ending up on surrounding buildings like America Tower.
Sadly, volunteers are finding a portion of the bats failed to escape.
Bats drop slightly before they start to gain any height after they first take off to fly; many of them potentially dropped into the water and found themselves trapped.
For the few that were lucky enough to hang on, workers took to scooping the bats out of the water and bringing them out of harm’s way.
One poster on Reddit started a thread to ask what they could do for bats they found stranded on the sidewalk, where users encouraged them, with a few words of caution as well.
One responder wrote, “…please be very careful when handling bats. Our winged friends are reservoirs of rabies and because they’re vulnerable, they may react defensively.”
As a staple of the bat’s diet is mosquitos, which will probably breed like crazy after the flood, its important to save as many of them as possible.