Rock Bridge Park to Give Bat Tours

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COLUMBIA - Officials said Friday they would give tours of Connors Cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park next week.

The tour will be centered around the endangered grey bats found in Connors Cave and the Devil's Icebox, both located in the park. The park has tours of Connors Cave every week, but the night tours will only be held July 12 and 13 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

Officials said they are worried about bats acquiring White Nose Syndrome. The disease has not been found to harm humans, but can be potentially lethal to bats according to officials. This is why park officials urge anyone who has travelled in caves with infected bats to wear different clothes in Connors Cave.

The Devil's Icebox is currently closed to the public, but anyone on the tour may watch bats flying out of the cave. The Devil's Icebox earned its name from the substantial temperature drop experienced inside.

"The Devil's Icebox is 55 degrees year-round," said Park Naturalist Roxie Campbell. "So the area around it might be a little warmer than that, but it's definitely a good way to cool off."

Both the regular tours and the two night tours are free to the public, but anyone who wants to go on the bat tour will need to register with the Park at 573-449-7400.