Located in Gainesville, the Lubee Bat Conservancy is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving bats and their habitats through research, conservation, and education, with a focus on community engagement.

The Conservancy, originally named the Lubee Foundation, was founded as a non-profit organization in 1989 by the late Luis F. Bacardi who had a strong passion for endangered wildlife, particularly bats. Luis died in 1991 and Lubee was originally partially endowed by a bequest from his estate. This endowment, together with grants and donations, has allowed Lubee to function for the past 25 years.  It should also be noted that Lubee is not connected with or funded by the Bacardi rum company.

The name “Lubee” is derived from Luis F. Bacardi’s name. Luis Bacardi devoted his life to the preservation of endangered species and played a key role in ensuring a future for flying foxes throughout the Pacific. In 1990, Lubee’s support of a landmark conference held in the Pacific Islands resulted in the Pacific Island Flying Fox Declaration, which pledges to safeguard against the over-exploitation of flying foxes and the loss of the rain forests upon which flying foxes depend on and maintain. Luis Bacardi’s dream of helping these overlooked wild animals continues through his legacy.

Lubee Bat Conservancy is on a 110-acre ranch and was once used as a temporary holding area for animals that were transferred to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They still maintain a close working relationship with Disney to this day.

Lubee’s research and training programs are managed by director Brian Pope, who is working to establish international programs that will take the center’s science from the lab to the field. Brian has been a zoological professional for many years specializing in animal care and behavioral studies.

Educational facilities at Lubee include a dedicated education room for discussions and displays for children, including the use of Woods Haven Retreat Center for workshops, meetings and even overnight stays.

The center maintains modern facilities for research and captive study of fruit and nectar bats. Bats are housed in specially-designed facilities, including temperature-controlled roost quarters and outdoor circular flight enclosures. Food preparation and distribution facilities include a kitchen, freezers and walk-in cold storage. Veterinary facilities include an examination room equipped for anesthesia and recovery rooms with incubator and isolation facilities.

You can find out more about the bats and the great work they do by visiting the Lubee Bat Conservancy website.

The Lubee Bat Conservancy is located at 1309 NW 192nd Ave in Gainesville.

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