Houston Heroes

Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. She now enjoys watching the bats fly over her home on summer evenings. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.

A doodle by Kim O'Keefe of a bat floating in a life preserver to reflect on the bat rescuers in Houston.
Artist Kim O’Keefe made a sketch to express what words cannot regarding the rescuers in Houston.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! It was my first week of 10th grade. It was hard to get up in the morning, but in the end, it wasn’t too bad a week. I think I am going to like my teachers and it has been nice to see my friends and make some new ones.

I have spent a lot of time this past week looking at news stories about Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in south eastern Texas. It has been an absolutely horrible week for everyone in the region! I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to all the people affected by this hurricane. My thoughts are with you in this very difficult time and in the difficult times to come. I would also like to dedicate my blog to all the heroes in Texas. There have been many! People from all over the country (and other countries, too) have been going to Texas to help. Our very own Fairfax County Search and Rescue Team is there now. But, not only have professionals been working hard, regular people have been too. Thank you to everyone who has come to someone’s aid. Many lives were saved because you all took the time to help.

Many of these heroes have been saving animals in need. I’ve been reading a lot about all the bat rescues. When the hurricane first hit, I was very worried about all the bat colonies. Then I started seeing stories about all the bat rescuers working in Houston. The first hero I heard about was a woman named Alicia Plunkett. Thank you to my dad’s friend for sharing the story with us! You can see Ms. Plunkett saving bats in this video.

The next hero I read about was Jacob Calle. He first used his kayak to rescue people trapped in their cars on the highway. When he was done, he went to the Waugh Bridge to help save the bats. You can read about Mr. Calle here.

The wonderful people from Bat World Sanctuary also went to Houston to rescue the bats. They have saved hundreds of bats (and a bullfrog). You can read about their work here. Once they were finished rescuing the bats at the Waugh Bridge, they went to other bridges. Many bats were saved, but unfortunately, the entire bat colony at the Congress Street Bridge (not to be confused with the huge colony at the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin) was lost. Warning:  The pictures for this story are heartbreaking.

There are many more people working around the clock to help the bats of Houston. Thank you to all of you for all you are doing. The bats and all us bat lovers appreciate all your hard work.

 

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