[car rumbling and acoustic guitar] [loud bat chatter] – (Graslie) There are so many bats in here. This cave is just teeming. [ambient conversation] – (Graslie) You don’t want to touch anything in here because everything is just covered in a layer of guano. It’s hot. Everybody’s sweating. And there are insects that are attracted to the light that come and get in your mouth. You don’t really know whether to breathe out of your mouth or your nose. I should have brought a face mask. They’re amazing. How many do you think are in this cave? – (Bruce) I haven’t gotten a good sense of that, but thousands for sure. And it has such a beautiful design on the back. Most bats are sort of monochrome because color doesn’t mean much in the night, but these are very highly social, as you can see. I think you probably want to have the light on this. – (Graslie) Alright, I think I got one on my leg. – (Greg) Hey, something’s on me. – (Graslie) Oh god. Look at them go. – (Greg) They’re coming right at me. [laughter] – (Graslie) Yeah, I definitely had one going up my leg. – (Graslie) Are you filming that? – (Greg) Oh my god, they’re on my face! [laughter] – (Greg) That’s awesome. That’s amazing. – (Graslie) It’s not a field expedition until your cameraman gets covered in bats. – (Greg) I’m staying with the shot! – (Bruce) Alright! We’ve done what we can here. [heavy breathing] – (Graslie) That was fun. – (Bruce) Oh?
– (Graslie) Yeah. – (Bruce) We need to finish this by flying the Otomops. – (Paul) Yeah.
– (Bruce) They can just fly straight back to bed. You can get your calls. – (Graslie) You’re gonna release them? – (Paul) Yeah, yeah. – (Graslie) You just follow it? [bat chattering] – (Paul) Oh, it’s turning back, it’s turning back! – (Graslie) Nope. – (Bruce) Check out the lips on this. The hair on the inside of the lips.
– (Graslie) Woah, yeah. They’re beautiful.
– (Bruce) They are. – Ready?
– (Paul) Yeah. – (Bruce) Here we go. [bat chatters] [bat chatters] – (Paul) Yeah! [bat chatters] [running] [laughter] [slow bat chirp] – (Bruce) Ready?
– (Paul) Yes. [chirping stops] – (Graslie) Oh, look at him run. All that fussing for nothing. – (Bruce) “Let me go, let me go, let me go.” – (Graslie) “Let me go, let me go.” Now he’s just gonna hang there. [breathing and grass crunching] – (Bruce) Am I above the entrance? [Paul on radio] – (Bruce) We have some rock overhangs here that are used by big four-footed creatures as an overnight or diurnal hiding place. But the bats are in another tunnel just around the corner, here. Smell the guano?
– (Graslie) Yeah. – (Bruce) It’s the smell of prosperity for this project. [laughter] – (Ward) Is this the entrance right here?
– (Bruce) Right. – (Graslie) Oh, down here?
– (Bruce) Yep. – (Graslie) Oh, wow. That is pretty narrow. – (Greg) Okay, cool. So I’m going to follow you in.
– (Bruce) Yep. – (Greg) Alright, and we’ll see you all after. – (Graslie) Alright, good luck! [bats chattering] – (Bruce) Nycteris! We were telling you about the slit-faced bats. What a beauty! Look at the size of those ears. What a cool bat. Okay, these guys have gotten wise to us and have moved into the deepest part of the cave where we can’t go. So I think our work here is done. – (Greg) [grunting] Thank you. – (Paul) Don’t be caught, please, in the net. – (Graslie) How is it? – (Greg) [laughs] Great. – (Graslie) Oh, man. – (Paul) There’s no air inside there. – (Graslie) Oh, you smell great. – (Greg) Am I caught on something? – (Graslie) Mm, yeah. – (Greg) My god. – (Greg) Yeah, we had a really successful session, shooting in a pretty confined space. At one point I marched forward on my knees to get a close-up of—what bat was it, Bruce? – (Bruce) It was Nycteris, a slit-faced bat. – (Greg) Slit-faced bat. So excited by the prospect of getting a close-up, I kicked up just this cloud of guano and urine and dust. It kind of overtook both of us. [laughter] And uh, yeah, we took some down. – (Ward) Is that what’s going on on your…
– (Greg) Through the nose, in the mouth, yeah. – (Graslie) In your teeth?
– (Ward) hands and sleeves there? – (Greg) Yeah, I think that’s what’s happening, right there. [acoustic guitar]