What is the "Casa de Luna"?

The Casa de Luna - a space that can house up to 70,000 bats - was unveiled today at Chehaw Park

/ Colby Gallagher

The Casa de Luna stands as tall as the trees in Chehaw Park - a house for Mexican Free Tailed Bats that's visually intriguing as well as eco-friendly.

"This bat house was fabricated in our shop with recycled lumber off the park and our own welders and our own carpenters built this with a design that we got from bat conservation international," said Chehaw Park Executive Director, Doug Porter.

With the addition of this structure, Chehaw hopes to provide a means of housing for these bats that are already present in Southwest Georgia.

"We've got the right temperatures, we've got the water around, we've got the trees, we've got plenty of bugs around. What that does is it provides a great spot for us to be able to put our bat tower," said Chehaw Zoo Director, Kevin Hils.

The park used heavy-lifting machines to erect the structure which will house around 56,000 to 70,000 bats.

While some may be hesitant of these nocturnal creatures, Chehaw says they actually bring many benefits to our area."

"Bats are very important to the environment and to people if you value something that eats insects. We've got gnats all around us, these bats will come out in the evening and they'll eat thousands of pounds of insects that are flying around at night," said Porter.

By providing the bats with a means to live, Chehaw also hopes it will also benefit local houses.

"We're not going to be actually increasing the bat population. Hopefully we will bring the bats into our site to reduce the pressure on the given community," said Hils.

Chehaw says it will take anywhere from a few months to a year for the bats to adapt and utilize their new home - which they plan to start using as a night-time exhibit.

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