Going batty for bats at Audubon Zoo

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NEW ORLEANS-- You've seen a lot of Halloween decorations of bats, but do you know a lot about the actual animals?  News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez headed to the nocturnal exhibit at the Audubon Zoo to go bat crazy!

Bats are mysterious creatures and there's reasons to go batty over them!

"Bats are amazing animals,"  Malinda Chambers at the Audubon Zoo said.

There are many things about bats that people don't know.

"The main fact about our bats is that they are helpful and they do a lot of good.  They eat a lot of pests here in Louisiana like mosquitoes and insect eating bats help cut the mosquito population.  Bats also help agriculture pests, which help save farmers billions of dollars per year,"  she said.

Audubon Zoo has two types of bats.  There are 200 males from South America that only eat fruit, and there are eight vampire bats, which are blood suckers, but not human blood.

"These bats have an interesting way of hunting.  They have thermal receptors that sense heat from sleeping mammals.  They sense a mammal while flying over and then they will and on the animal, which is usually a cow, they will walk on all fours, and they use their sharp teeth to cut incisions.  The amount of blood is so small that the animals don't even know the difference,"  Chambers said.

And there's no reason to fear these creatures of the night.

"People don't know much about these mysterious animals, and I think that is where some of the fear comes from,"  she said.

Here's another fun fact for you.  Bats live on every continent except Antarctica!

The nocturnal house where the bats live opened at the Audubon Zoo earlier this year.

For more information about the Audubon Zoo, click HERE.



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