The Waugh Bat Colony Didn’t Escape Harvey

Read the full story in Houstonia Magazine.

If you’ve visited the Waugh Bat Colony, located under the Waugh Bridge along Buffalo Bayou, you know it to be ad hoc, smelly, and beautiful in an ugly sort of way. A metaphor for Houston, if you will.

Unfortunately, the bats shared our fate during Harvey as Buffalo Bayou swelled to consume the colony of more than 250,000. According to the Houston Chronicle, maintenance workers witnessed many of the bats decamp to the nearby America Tower,  describing it like a scene from The Birds with “about a thousand” Mexican free-tailed bats taking flight. Some found shelter in the tower’s facade and underground garage, but plenty drowned as floodwaters rose. Photos and videos on social media show folks scooping up remaining waterlogged bats with fishing nets…

Rescue operations for displaced bats are currently running parallel to those for Houstonians themselves. Bat World Sanctuary, a non-profit group out of Weatherford, Texas, near Fort Worth, deployed rescuers to Houston and is working with local volunteers. Think of them as the bat lover version of the Cajun Navy, except with rabies vaccinations and syringes of bat food.

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