National Geographic Society photographer, Robert Hanna, filming free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) emerging from a cave near San Antonio, Texas, while sound-man, Paul Rusnak (left) and field assistant, Arden Tuttle watch. This special segment will air as part of the National Geographic “Explorer” program on the Nickelodeon cable television channel, 14 April and 26 May, 1985. Viewers will be introduced to Bracken Cave’s 20 million free-tailed bats, one of nature’s most spectacular sights. Bracken’s bats are not easily disturbed, apparently having become less fearful of humans through long term protection. In most other bat caves similar disturbance could cause serious harm to panicked bats and should not be attempted.
Photo courtesy Merlin D. Tuttle