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BATS PERISH WHEN FLOODS BATTER CAVE

Nearly a quarter of a million bats may have drowned when Tropical Storm Alberto flooded their cave.

A wildlife biologist said he saw big piles of bat skeletons in a "maternity cave" where an estimated 85,000 adult female bats and 160,000 of their young had roosted before the nearby Apalachicola River overflowed in July."The ceiling was still dotted with bat carcasses," Jeff Gore, of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, said Tuesday.

"It's such an incredible mess in there, I can't say whether any of the bats got out, but there are tens of thousands of dead bats."

This bat's range extends from the southeast up to Illinois and Indiana and into Texas. It's not an endangered or threatened species.