Bacardi builds bat caves at bottling plantBy Annie Hayes
As part of its ongoing environmental efforts, Bacardi has erected three large bat habitats at its rum bottling facility in Jacksonville, Florida – capable of housing up to 500 bats.
Crafted in partnership with Lubee Bat Conservancy, the habitats – branded bat caves – are expected to be “full of tenants” within just a few months.
Standing 20 feet off the ground, the two single-chambered bat caves can house between 50-100 bats, while the triple-chambered cave can hold between 200-300 bats.
Located on a 92-acre site, Bacardi Bottling Corporation bottles all Bacardi spirits for US consumption, and has received international recognition for its contributions to wildlife habitat conservation and education by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
Through the partnership, both Bacardi and Lubee Bat Conservancy aim to “preserve and provide crucial habitats” for the local bat population to help maintain the community’s natural wetlands, farming, and forest areas.
“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.”
Bacardi says the bat has “always been more than just a logo” – it’s also an “ecological partner” as well as a metaphor that embodies the brand’s ‘We Are The Night’ statement.
The brand’s link to bats hails back to 1862 when Doña Amalia Bacardí, the founder’s wife, spotted a colony of fruit bats in the rafters of the first Bacardi distillery in Santiago de Cuba.
In Spain, where the Bacardí family emigrated from, bats symbolised good health, family unity and good fortune, so it was ensured that the bats remained in the distillery and became identified with the brand.
“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,” said Julio Torruella, global environment director for Bacardi.
“Bats are vital to the health of natural ecosystems and human economies, so preservation of their habitats makes great sense with regard to sustainability.
“We work just as hard to find ways to preserve habitats and protect species as we do to reduce energy consumption and conduct business sustainably.”