Campers targeted by vampire bats

Sept. 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A group of friends from San Antonio said they were attacked by vampire bats while sleeping outside on a camping trip.

The group arrived at their cabin in Johnson City, Texas, and found snake skins on the floor. They decided sleeping outdoors in the bed of a pickup would be safer, said Rusten Ramsey, one of the campers.

When Ramsey awoke he found about 10 nickel-sized blood splotches on his arms. Another woman in the party had been bitten on her face. Some Internet research yielded the culprit: vampire bats.

Most disturbing, Ramsey said, was knowing the creatures had been crawling on him as he slept.

"That was by far the worst part," he told KSAT-TV, San Antonio.

The bats land and lick exposed skin. An element in the bats' tongues numbs the skin and when blood begins to show, the bats drink it as a food source. Normally vampire bats do not target humans, but the exposed campers were easy prey.

The campers have been treated for potential rabies exposure.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution