May 27, 2005
Buffalo National River, AR - Cave Mountain Cave, located in
the Boxley area of the park, was opened on May 15th to visitors after being
closed for the winter for the protection of the hibernating bats within.
While exploring the cave, one of the first groups to enter discovered dead
bats scattered on the floor of the cave and reported their finding to the
park geologist. Rangers and resource specialists began an investigation and
determined that upwards of 200 bats had been killed by a firearm. It
appears that someone entered the cave sometime during the winter months
while the bats were hibernating in large clusters, making them easy targets
on the cave ceiling.
Special agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have also been
notified and are assisting in the investigation. A $1,000 reward is being
offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the
person or persons involved.