The University of Florida’s bat house — and the bat barn that was built to accompany it in 2010 — shelters one of the world’s largest urban bat populations.
The story of its success begins with a conflagration and ends with a tourist attraction, with ridicule, public protest and the intervention of two Florida governors along the way. This month, the bat village grew with the addition of another bat barn. With the original house crumbling, officials hope the resident bats will move from the original house into the new barn, a longer-lasting design that builds on what they’ve learned over the years. But as they learned from the first bat house, bats don’t always take a hint.