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Oct 16, 2013 12:09 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Bats found beaten to death under Tucson bridge

TUCSON - Wildlife officials are investigating an unusual case of animal cruelty. Dozens of bats were found severely beaten and left for dead. It happened under the Benson Highway bridge on Tucson's south side.

A $1,000 reward for information is being offered to find who did it.

Using a gentle touch, LouRay Whitehead with the Tucson Wildlife Center is caring for the sole surviving bat.

Because of this cruel act, she says it's likely an entire family of bats was wiped out.

"They're all living creatures, even bats are mammals, they live in families," says Whitehead.

She says Monday night a jogger found the horrific sight. Dozens of bats lying on the ground, chirping in pain from broken bones and internal trauma.

"They look to be blunt force trauma. They all had fractures, some sort of injuries on them," Whitehead says.

In all 33 bats were found, 20 were already dead and 12 were euthanized.

Who did it and how remains a mystery.

The bats were found along the Julian Wash near Benson Highway south of Ajo.

Authorities hopes someone with information comes forward so the person responsible can be held responsible.

Wildlife experts say bats are often times misunderstood, they're very helpful to Tucson's environment and they keep the mosquito population down.

Game and Fish also working a separate case involving javelina. The remains of 10 animals were found near Saguaro National Park East on Thursday.

There's a $5,000 reward for information.

Whitehead's message: show respect to all animals. "They're living creatures too just like us," she says.

If you have information on either case you're asked to call Game and Fish, or submit a tip to their website click here. You can remain anonymous.

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