The bad news is that there are only 7 bats, rather than the 15 for which I was waiting, or the 30 for which I was hoping. Still, after 4 years of persistent effort, it feels nice to have any sort of success at getting bats into our lab. The population of vampires at Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) has been booming with 9 new young of the year, but Chicago Brookfield Zoo had lost about the same number of bats this year before they gave me the 7 remaining females. So that worries me a bit.
After leaving Michigan, I drove the bats from Chicago to University of Maryland on March 7, arriving around 1 am on March 8. The car was 75 degrees inside and full of soaked rags to keep the humidity high. I’m hoping to genotype them and estimate their relatedness to the OBC bats in the next few days.