Bat appreciation day to be held at former Connecticut prison

EAST GRANBY, Conn. (AP) — The nation's oldest prison will be the backdrop for a day devoted to the importance of conserving bats in Connecticut .

The underground tunnels at the former prison, Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine in East Granby, are the winter home of several state-endangered bat species.

On Saturday, the public can catch a glimpse of endangered bats in the "bat cave." Other family-friendly activities are planned as well.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Economic and Community Development are planning "Bat Appreciation Day" to highlight the site's importance to conserving the bat population.

Bats at the historic site are considered "cave bats," in part because they hibernate underground in caves and mines.

Connecticut purchased the copper mine in 1773 and operated it as a prison for more than 50 years.