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Matheson Avenue bridge, Bonita Springs

Where the Imperial River flows under Matheson Avenue in Bonita Springs lives a colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats (the most common kind in Florida). CGT Kayaks owner and tour guide John Paeno estimated that there are more than 1,000 of them. At sunset, they come streaming out to feed on insects, eating about half their body weight’s worth, and “fill the sky haphazardly,” he said, “or create almost like a funnel of bats.” The bridge has been home to the bats for decades, as far as Mr. Paeno knows. CGT continues to offer a popular Imperial River Batmoon Paddle tour during which people can get a good look at these hungry little creatures.

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