published Friday, November 29th, 2013

Maryville College in Tennessee creating new home for bell tower bats

Bats are seen in this file photo.
Bats are seen in this file photo.
Corey Holliday/USFWS

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Maryville College is creating a new home for a colony of up to 2,000 brown bats that occupy the school's 143-year-old bell tower.

The Daily Times of Maryville reports that the school has built 10 bat boxes that can house 30 bats each. The boxes are located 20-foot posts in the campus orchards. Officials also plan to install a "bat condo" housing thousands of bats by February, the month before the colony comes out of hibernation.

Biology professor David Unger said the bat relocation is being conducted under the principle that "we can all live together."

The bat habitats will also become the subject of study. Unger says students will be able to research to the bats' echoes and determine which structures they prefer.

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