In 1997 J. David Bamberger broke ground on the first ever man-made bat cave. Bamberger, the esteemed conservationist and erstwhile co-founder of Church’s Chicken, knew he was creating a spectacle, and the press ate it up. Journalists from New York to Berlin covered the story. “He’s going batty,” one headline read. 4 years after the cave was built, it stood empty. Then, on a hot summer day in August, a journalist from San Antonio followed up and scooped the story. There were no bats. As he prepared a story on “Bamberger’s Folly,” Bamberger took one last walk up to the bat cave and witnessed ten thousand bats began streaming out. It is the only successful man-made bat cave in the world.
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