|November 16, 2007
Olive Hill, Kentucky – State and federal wildlife
authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 100 federally
endangered Indiana bats at Carter Caves State Resort Park near Olive
Vandals entered a cave at the park and struck a hibernating colony
of Indiana bats with rocks on two different occasions in late
October. Some bats were crushed, while others died after being
knocked into a stream. Authorities believe the first incident
occurred between Oct. 21-24, while the second incident was reported
Oct. 27 and may have occurred the previous night. The cave is not
being identified to prevent further harm to the remaining bats or
Indiana bats first received protection under the Endangered Species
Act in 1966. Until recently, their numbers have decreased steadily.
The caves at Carter Caves State Resort Park harbor the largest
hibernating population of Indiana bats in Kentucky.
Violations of the Endangered Species Act can result in a maximum
penalty of a $100,000 fine and a year in prison. Anyone with
information about the bat deaths should contact Special Agent Bob
Snow of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (502) 582-5989.