Nickajack Cave near Chattanooga offers a sanctuary for bats

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee is full of popular tourist destinations, but some of the most unique places remain hidden. One such place is a sanctuary for an endangered species, Nickajack Cave just outside of Chattanooga.

Most of the cave is now inaccessible, at least to humans. But there is one species that still has easy access, the gray bat. The cave attracts them by the thousands every summer.

“The front part of the cave contains this beautiful high dome. And that’s what the federally endangered gray bats love for the summer, when they have their babies, they’re drawn to the caves. warm with this high dome area where they can get their babies to keep them at the right temperature, the right humidity and where they can congregate,” said TVA terrestrial zoologist Elizabeth Hamrick.

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Every summer, TVA organizes its annual bat count to help raise awareness of house bats and keep tabs on their population. If you’re looking for a summer activity, you might want to consider counting some bats.

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