For well over 60 years, Brazilian free-tailed bats used the older, dilapidated buildings found throughout downtown Mineral Wells, Texas as roosting sites and as nurseries in which to raise their young. Future planned development in the area made it no longer feasible or safe for local bats to continue roosting in these older buildings. Knowing the day would come when the bats of Mineral Wells would need a new home, we built the “Bat Castle.”
The bat castle design was inspired by Bat World’s wild sanctuary, a 100 year-old sandstone building located in Mineral Wells (photo right). After decades of using that building, along with a dozen other nearby buildings, it became unsafe for the bats to occupy in the midst of the town’s growth. Over the course of the next three years, we slowly and humanely evicted the bat colony from the wild sanctuary while providing an alternate roosting site, the bat castle.
A grant from the Chase Giving Campaign, along with private donations from our generous supporters, allowed us to complete the Bat Castle in 2013.
The bat castle is located on Bat World’s land, approximately 4 miles from the downtown area of Mineral Wells. It is off limits to the public and completely protected. It is capable of providing a safe roosting site for 100,000 or more bats.
Over the next 5 years, the bat castle was used as a release site for bats that had become trapped on or excluded from the buildings in Mineral Wells that were being renovated.
In 2018, we also mounted bat houses on the sides of the bat castle in an effort to entice bats to the castle. On March 28, 2019, we discovered bat guano on the predator guard directly underneath one of the bat houses, which means that bats have now found the castle and should be moving inside in the near future.
In May of 2019 we installed a Big Bat House to attract more bats to the castle. Stay tuned for updates that will be posted to this page.