Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 • Posted August 19, 2009

I have had a truly remarkable week!! The baby bats have grown up and are now on their own. How time passes! We can reflect on a child or grandchild and think how quickly eighteen years fly by, but try to imagine only five or six short weeks from birth to being on their own. It makes my heart skip a little beat thinking about it. Instead of being sad, we have to focus on the time that we have had with them. Momma bats are the same way.

When the pup (baby bat) is born, momma bat catches it with her little bitty back feet and pulls it tightly to her and rubs on it while talking to it. The pup reciprocates by rubbing on its mom and talking back to her.

This exchange begins a unique bond that allows momma to find her own young among the millions of tiny, pink, hairless bodies that cover the ceiling of the cave with as many as four to five hundred per square foot. In as little as one minute momma bat can search out her own baby using sound and smell as distinct indicators.

My sister works at the Llano hospital as a nurse helping to deliver babies. I don’t know what the highest delivery number per week was for her, but at The Eckert James River Bat Cave in just two weeks as many as four million babies are born. This happens without a specialist or a nurse. In as little as twenty seconds the baby is born weighing about a quarter of its mother’s weight. In human terms, it would be like a 120 pound woman giving birth to a 30 pound baby! That is no small feat!!!

This is where we come back to the five week period when baby bat is now an adolescent and ready to take on the world. They shoot out of the cave without all of the grace and style that their mothers have, but in just a few days they are true pros. Out they go. Out to the dangers and pestilences that is a nightly challenge, but still a part of the normal life cycle of the Mexican free-tail bats at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve.

Before your little ones get out in the world for themselves, bring them out to experience a life-long memory in the making as our little ones set the night sky alive with breathtaking splendor. Memories are there for the taking. Take a memory home with you and reflect on it through the years when your young ones leave the house empty. Those tiny little feet soon walk their own paths in their own little corner of the world in too short a time!!

For more information on how you can be a part of this memory making process, call the bat hotline at 325-347-5970. Hug your young ones often and remember to smile as you look into the night skies at the millions of little ones from The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve that have grown up way too fast……

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