The Bacardi Bat

Batman may need his “Bat-Claw” to make it 20 feet into the air to make it into this bat cave but for the Mexican free-tailed bat, Evening bat, Tricolored bat and Eastern red bat they’ll just navigate their way in using echolocation.

A team of Bacardi employees, in partnership with Lubee Bat Conservancy, erected several large bat habitats at the company’s rum bottling facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The wooden bat caves stand 20-feet off the ground. The mutual goal between the two organizations is to preserve and provide crucial habitats for the local bat population to help maintain the community’s natural wetlands, farming, and forest areas. In fact, the Bacardi wildlife team consists of 11 employees who volunteer to manage 21 acres of wildlife habitat as part of a “Wildlife at Work” program that has been certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council since 2013. Several of these Bacardi employees, as well as several Lubee Bat Conservancy employees, worked together on this project.

The three bat caves hold up to a total of 500 bats. The two single-chambered bat caves can house between 50-100 bats, and the one triple-chambered cave can hold between 200-300 bats. In just a short few months, the shelters will likely be active with many local bats.

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Batman Utility Belt courtesy of Mondo Art.

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Since it built its first distillery 155 years ago in Santiago de Cuba the bat has been a part of the Bacardi brand. Support for the bat started in 1862 when Doña Amalia Bacardí, the founder’s wife, spotted a colony of fruit bats in the rafters of that distillery. In Spain, where the Bacardí family emigrated from, and with the native Taíno Indians in their new homeland of Cuba, bats symbolized good health, family unity and good fortune, so the Bacardi founder made sure the bats remained in the distillery and became identified with his rum.

Within just a few months, the habitats will be full of tenants. Together, the organizations are working hard to fight the devastation of habitat depletion that has occurred for bats, the world’s only flying mammals.

Save the Bat

“Conservation and sustainability have been a part of who Bacardi has been since the very beginning nearly 155 years ago. We’ve now come full-circle with these bat caves as we live out this legacy,” says Julio Torruella, global environment director for Bacardi, about the new bat houses installed at the Bacardi Bottling Corporation campus. The facility, part of the Bacardi group of companies, bottles all BACARDÍ spirits consumed in the U.S. and has received international recognition for its contributions to wildlife habitat conservation and education by the Wildlife Habitat Council.

“Monitoring of the bat houses will be conducted in a responsible manner, so we do not disturb the bats as they take residence in the new shelters,” says Brian Pope, director of Lubee Bat Conservancy. “For this reason, we don’t have cameras inside the shelters. Acoustic surveys conducted in late spring recorded 716 identifiable calls revealing four bat species on the Bacardi property.”

The Bacardi bat device graces every bottle of BACARDÍ rum, as it continues to inspire new “outside-the-bat-box” conservation and sustainability directives beyond the company’s literal and figurative walls.

Should Other Distilleries Try to Capture Their Brands Icon?

Why should Bacardi be the only one to support it’s heritage. Just imagine what these distillers could do to attract their icon.

Angel’s Envy
Bad Dog Distillery
Bear Creek Distillery
Beehive Distilling
Black Bear Distillery
Black Fish Spirits Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Copperhead Mountain Distillery
Cougar Red Distillery

You can browse through our comprehensive Distillery Directory to your heart’s content to find many more…

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