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More than 30,000 bats found dead following winter storms. Those still alive struggling for food

Texas Parks and Wildlife crews have been working to assess the death toll that several species are experiencing as a result of the winter storm.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Central Texas families have experienced negative impacts from the deadly winter storm, so has our ecosystem. Namely the local bat population. 

Every year, people travel from across the country to watch thousands of Mexican freetail bats fly out from under the South Congress bridge during every sunset.

Megan Radke with Texas Parks and Wildlife said it's these bats that are struggling the most because they reside in Austin through the winter months.

She said that overall across the state, crews have found more than 30,000 dead bats following the storm.

Texas Parks and Wildlife and nonprofit organizations have been going to different bridges across the state to try to rescue the ones they still can following the frigid temperatures. 

KVUE captured footage of bats in Downtown Austin this week becoming weak and losing their grip.

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While Central Texas is no longer experiencing freezing temperatures, there are not as many insects out for the bats to eat, causing them to die. 

"The cold temperatures were just something that most species and most people in Texas have not seen before and not experienced before, so the impact of various species of wildlife across the state, it's been pretty significant," said Radke.

Kristen Cusick and her husband live in Wimberly and recently went on a rescue mission downtown under the South Congress bridge to help the bats in any way they could. 

"He looked over underneath the bridge a little bit further and noticed hundreds more. Some were moving and crawling, some were not," said Cusick

Click here to learn about how you can report animal observations in your community, providing helpful information for Texas Parks and Wildlife. 

Click here for a list of local rehab facilities if you find an injured animal.

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