Jan 7, 2011 3:15 PM
TUCSON - Arizona Game and Fish officials have determined that up to 80 bats found dead on Tucson's eastside last month were likely shot and killed by a BB gun.
The bats were found under the Speedway bridge over Pantano Wash on the week of December 27.
Officials first thought that de-ciing materials killed the bats, but some of the bats checked by a lab in Phoenix found signed of trauma, and BB pellets were extracted from them.
"This is an especially cruel case, given the number of animals killed outright or apparently mortally wounded by BBs ricocheting around beneath the bridge. Quick escape from the concrete expansion joints of the bridge that the bats inhabit would have been difficult," says Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of AGFD. "We are now conducting a criminal investigation and actively seeking information leading to full prosecution of whoever is responsible."
Pictured: The Mexican Free-Tailed Bat, courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department
Tune in to News 4 Tucson at 6 p.m. for a complete report.