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Chicago bats illustration

Little brown bat populations, illustrated above, have been decimated by white-nose syndrome in the northeastern U.S., but researchers have detected bat calls from them at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s nature boardwalk.

Erik Nelson Rodriquez

Where do Chicago's bats hang out?

Rory Keane was ambling around Chicago’s downtown a few years back when he stumbled upon what looked like a piece of fried chicken glistening on the sidewalk. But it didn’t take long for him to be disabused.

“I saw it twitch real quick,” he says. “The next thing I knew, it grew wings and it was flying around my ankles and then right past my face.”

It was a bat, in broad daylight, just doing its bat thing downtown. Soon after, Rory collected himself from fright and submitted these questions to Curious City: How many bats are in Chicago’s Loop? What are their favorite hangouts?

Click "listen" on the audio player to hear the answer to those questions -- and to find out where Chicago's biodiversity hotspots are. 

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