The Tucson Wildlife Center responded to a call Monday evening in regards to 32 bats found dead and dying.
The bats were discovered under the Benson Highway Bridge near the Sheriff's Department on Tucson's Southside.
A Good Samaritan passing by found the bats and called Tucson Wildlife Center for help. It appeared they all had been beaten possibly earlier that morning.
All of the bats were immediately transported to Tucson Wildlife Center to determine the extent of their injuries. 20 were dead on arrival and 12 had to be euthanized due to multiple broken bones and internal trauma. Only one remains alive in guarded condition.
"It's most likely that an entire family has been wiped out due to this cruel act," said Lisa Bates, President of Tucson Wildlife Center. "These bats suffered a great pain for a long period of time before they were found," said Bates.
Bats are the only flying mammal in the world and are invaluable in keeping Tucson healthy by consuming cast amounts of mosquitos nightly. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information about the bats are urged to call the AGFD Operation Game Thief program at 1-800-352-0700 anytime. You can remain anonymous. Please reference OGT#13-002821.
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