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Bat Fungus Spreads in Kentucky

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Officials have confirmed the presence of a deadly bat fungus in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The fungus has already killed millions of bats across the Northeast and in the Midwest.

The fungus, which is harmless to humans and other animals, is known popularly as white nose syndrome for its tendency to make bats’ muzzles look like dandelions about to go to seed. It threatens some nine bat species that hibernate in Long Cave, a 1.3-mile-long den of crucial, undeveloped habitat just five miles from the entrance to the park’s Mammoth Cave, which is visited by nearly half a million people a year, officials said.

Sarah Craighead, the park superintendent, said that on Jan. 4, a biologist harvested a bat near the entrance to Long Cave with the telltale symptoms.

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