HOUSTON — Bats that were cold-stunned during last week's freeze were released at the Waugh Drive Bridge Wednesday.
A huge crowd was present as the Houston Humane Society used a scissor lift to raise the bats as close to the underside of the bridge as possible before releasing them to the colonies.
More than 1,500 bats were rescued last Thursday from the Waugh Drive Bat Colony. The agency provided the bats with boosts of fluids to make sure they were properly hydrated before setting them free.
When the bats get too cold, their metabolism plummets, which makes them too weak to hold onto the bridge, causing them to fall to the ground.
About 115 of the bats that were collected by officials died. Thankfully, the rest were able to recover after six days of rehabilitation.
On Wednesday, about 700 of them were released under the Waugh Drive Bridge.
Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition Director Mary Warwick said they use the Waugh Bridge as a tourist attraction, so they owe it to the bats to take care of them if they get into trouble, along with other beneficial reasons.
"When they first come out of the colony, they eat mosquitos," Warwick said. "As they go higher, they eat a lot of moths and insects that affect food crops."
Warwick also said they're a big part of the food web.