IN Austin, Texas, what was once considered a major bat problem has transformed into a major tourist attraction.
In 1980 a bridge in the city was redesigned with crevices underneath the structure that turned out to provide ideal habitat for as many as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats.
At first residents despised and feared the bats and tried to have the colony eradicated. However, Austinites have come to love their bat colony that, according to travel website www.austin.about.com, consumes up to 20,000 pounds of bugs nightly.
Tourists cram onto the bridge and into boats and kayaks every night to watch the bats.