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Oct 15, 2013 7:14 PM by Brian White

Dozens of bats found beaten under Benson Highway bridge

TUCSON - Officials want to know who beat over 30 bats recently near a Benson Highway bridge.

A tipster called officials about the dying bats Monday. Thirty two of the winged mammals were found with broken bones and internal trauma, Game and Fish officials said in a release.

Twelve of those bats were taken to the Tucson Wildlife Center but later had to be euthanized. Only one has survived so far but is in guarded condition.

"It's most likely that an entire family has been wiped out due to this cruel act" says Lisa Bates, President of Tucson Wildlife Center. "These bats suffered great pain for a long period of time before they were found" says Lisa.

Bats are the only flying mammal in the world and are invaluable in keeping Tucson healthy by consuming vast amounts of mosquitos nightly. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Individuals with information about the bats are urged to call the AGFD Operation Game Thief program at 1-800-352-0700 anytime. You can remain anonymous. Please reference OGT#13-002821. Information may also be provided on-line at http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml

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