Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen, довиждане dovizhdane to our bats

We are home in Austin after 22 hours of travel from Sofia, Bulgaria. Merlin took more than 7,000 photos of 13 European bat species. Of these, the 91 best images were donated for use in conservation and educational programs and materials, providing a strong basis for expanded conservation education in Europe with special emphasis on Bulgaria.  In addition, he and Antoniya Hubancheva appeared on nationally televised news, provided a well-attended press conference and planned future conservation priorities in Bulgaria.

MDT_BU_C3_2021    The last time Toni and Dani fed our bats before releasing them back to the wildMDT_BU_C3_1962

Toni and Dani’s exceptional expertise in care and training of bats proved invaluable. We hated having to say goodbye to our well-trained bats, but even more will miss Toni and Dani, both of whom have become deeply appreciated friends. Merlin looks forward to helping them in every way possible as they work toward PhD degrees in bat biology. He is confident that both will be leaders in the future of bat conservation.

Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus)
Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus)

 

Naterer's Bat (Myotis nattereri)
Naterer’s Bat (Myotis nattereri)

These are the final two species we photographed on the morning of our departure.

The bat crew ready to depart with our 350-pounds of photo equipment/
The bat crew ready to depart with our 350-pounds of photo equipment.

 

Our next bat adventure will begin on August 10 when we arrive in Brunei to photograph tiny bats that live in pitcher plants.

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