In the recent Dark Knight Trilogy, Bruce Wayne re-discovers the underground cave in his manor and then installs lights there as the first step towards building the Batcave. This leads me to the question:

Are the lights and the rest of the Batcave installation bat-friendly, or does the whole setup adversely affect the bats? A character like the Batman must care about animals and the environment; especially ones that inspire his own persona. Did Batman care about how his hideout affected the bats? Is there any treatment of or allusion to the relationship between Batman and the bats living in the Batcave in any of the comics or any other works?

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    And the silly thing about that is that batman doesn't need the lights either. Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 4:06
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    There are deeper parts of the Batcave that batman doesn't use, I imaging those deep recesses did not receive additional lighting, which is where the bats take their primary residence when they are not out-and-about. Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 14:05
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    "A character like the Batman must care about animals" -- must? The character of Batman is trying to save Gotham City, not Gotham City's Wildlife.
    – Brian S
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:18
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    A character like Batman must care about animals and the environment? Say what? This is the @#%^&! Batman here, not freakin' Captain Planet!
    – Omegacron
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 19:05
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    @BrianS: Some bat species are legally protected. Batman's whole raison d'etre as crime-fighter would surely compel him to enforce wildlife protection laws.
    – A E
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:42

5 Answers 5


It's established in Batman #655 that Alfred is in charge of tending to the needs of the bats in the roof of the Batcave.

Since it's a heavy part of the established canon that "The Batcave contains bats" (along with "Bruce's parents are dead" and "Bruce Wayne is Batman") I think we can reasonably assume that the Batcave in the Nolan trilogies is similarly bat friendly.

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Purely FYI: The DC Visual dictionary notes that the bats in question are American Brown Bats

"though the scores of American Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus) perched high above the Batcave floor were a nuisance to Alfred's fastidious cleaning..."

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    As yummy as Alfred's cooking sounds, I'm not sure what kind of bat's would eat that. Most species of bat's I'm familiar with eat 1) Fruit or 2)Mosquitos...I don't know of any bats that eat chicken Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 14:55
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    @Brouellette The ones that would inspire a grown man to dress up in fancy Pjs and wander the town at night fighting bad guys. Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:04
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    @Richard, which are insectivores...
    – Brian S
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:20
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    @BrianS -Don't be coming in here with your facts and common sense. You'll find that those aren't welcome in these parts... :-P
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:20
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    I think Alfred was making a small joke here. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 15:52

Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy portraits a non-batfriendly batcave.

Bats, as most nocturnal animals, have very sensitive eyes. Bright lights would stress them and can potentially harm the bats' sensitive eyes, blinding them.

Thus said, if Batman is making an entrance like this in Dark Knight Rises

he is probably scaring to death all the animals, maybe blinding more than one with the lights of his vehicle... Shall there be any bats, of course. No bats are seen in this scene or any other depicting the Batcave in Dark Knight Rises. Given the constructions the batcave has undergone between Batman Begins and DK Rises, you could wonder if all the bats living there had to leave during the works.

The bats in the batcave in Batman Begins wouldn't be doing much better. I'm yet to find a video to show this, but right when Batman is leaving to fight Ras at the end (after Wayne Manor is burnt) we see Batman getting ready, picking some of his gadgets, and then leaving in the Batmobile. Right before leaving the batmobile's lights scare some bats in the wall. Again, this animals could have been permanently blinded.

So I would say that the Nolanverse Batman is not that thoughtful with the inhabitants of the cave.

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    That said, technically none of the incarnations of the batcave are really animal friendly. Batman keeps all of his vehicles somewhere in the cave. Just the sound of the engines of these vehicles would cause problems for the bats, plus, they also use lights as well. So I'd have to add to your answer in saying that no, the batcave is not bat friendly at all.
    – Robert
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 3:45
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    @Huangism, I didn't say daylight would blind a bat, but a strong light could permanently blind them. Definitely they would not like it, and would be affected by Batman vehicles' noises and lights. I don't think that there is any proof that Bruce cares in any special way about the inhabitants of the batcave in this trilogy, and I don't recall seeing any in the batcave in DK Rises. I agree the cave is big, and the bats could be in a different part, but then Bats and Batman are not sharing space, so we can't say Bruce cares about them.
    – Kreann
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:23
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    I have to point that even if bats adapted to this issues, is their own "merit" and not something Alfred or Batman are making in consideration to these bats.
    – user32191
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:28
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    @PhilFrost, Bats are not blind. They can differentiate day from night and become active. Also, I'm not implying that the sun at dusk or lighting would blind them, but the powerful lights of the Batmobile or Bat could severely damage the sensitive eyes of nocturnal animals. At least it would put them in distress, so I'm more prone to believe that they don't like the noise and lights of Batman's rides that they are indifferent to them.
    – Kreann
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 19:18
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    @Deion I wasn't disputing that lights aren't problematic for bats, just that permanent blindness seems unlikely. Now that you've removed "permanent" from the answer, I find it more feasible. However, I would still suggest editing to include the links in your comments in the answer where more people will see them.
    – Phil Frost
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 0:23

@Richard's answer clearly establishes that bats were at one time present in the Batcave. If there has been substantial construction work since then, the bats would need to have been relocated; they could not possibly have survived in situ with major renovations going on.

But building a bat house is quite easy and inexpensive (even quite a large bat house should be affordable for BW) and would be a logical precursor to the renovations.

So evidently the reason the bats are no longer visible in the movies is that they've been relocated to a bat-house in a safer and quieter part of the Batcave with less vehicles, visitors, bright lights, etc.

If they do live in a bat-house then it must surely be known as the Bat-bat-house.

Or on a less optimistic note, perhaps they've succumbed to white-nose syndrome, which seems to be endemic in Gotham City:

We have yet to find a cure for the disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has decimated populations of hibernating, cave-dwelling bats in the Northeast. ...

White-nose syndrome (also known as W.N.S.) was first documented in February 2006 in upstate New York, where it may have been carried from Europe to a bat cave on an explorer’s hiking boot. In Europe, bats appear to be immune, likely the outcome of a long evolutionary process. But in North America, bats are highly susceptible to the cold-loving fungus that appears in winter on the muzzle and other body parts during hibernation, irritating them awake at a time when there is no food. They end up burning precious stores of energy and starve to death.

The consequences have been catastrophic. A 2011 study of 42 sites across five Eastern states found that after 2006 the populations of tri-colored and Indiana bats declined by more than 70 percent, and little brown bats by more than 90 percent. The population of the northern long-eared bat, once common, has declined by an estimated 99 percent and prompted a proposal from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to list it as an endangered species. Other species of hibernating cave-dwelling bats have declined precipitously as well.

Whether these bats will recover or go extinct is unclear.

Protect Our Bats, New York Times, 11 May 2014

White-nose syndrome map
Whitenosesyndrome.org, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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    Love the expression Bat-bat-house!
    – Layna
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:45

Isn't Bruce Wayne afraid of bats? He doesn't fight his fears... he just accepts them or tries to conquer them.

I don't think he will like to make his den 'bat friendly' just for the sake of conquering or accepting his fear.

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    It's a pretty common feature of all of the batman comics and films that the batcave has bats. He was afraid of them as a child but as an adult, he's conquered his fear and now quite likes them.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 13:16
  • Also, it wouldn't be terribly out of character for Bruce Wayne to keep bats around even if they did still freak him out a little, just to test himself and keep from getting complacent. Bats don't reduce him to tears, but like the adult whose pulse quickens when they cross a pitch-black room but who refuses to turn on the light, he could just be exercising his "mind over matter" techniques.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 20:45

I'm trying to find a definitive image, but we should probably keep in mind that the Bat-cave is a very large system of connected caves/tunnels.

While parts of the Batcave do have the bright lights, computers and vehicles, there are other less easily accessed parts of the cave that may have been left natural giving safe havens for the bats to hang in.

A good example would be the cavern Bruce first fell into as a boy. We see in the films that his father had to go get climbing gear to retrieve him, while there already was an entrance from the house to the caves (from the underground railroad). So why didn't he take the easy way through the tunnel? In the novelization of Knightfall (I don't have the comic on hand so I'm just going to reference the book) when Bruce fights Jean Paul in the Batcave the means to victory comes from going down a too narrow to go through in armor tunnel that leads to the outside via the original hole Bruce fell in as a child.

So here we have at least one tunnel that is too small for vehicles and almost too small for grown men to go through. That probably means 1) There are others of similar nature and 2)that the too small tunnels don't have equipment nor are the used as access roads for the various bat-vehicles.

Habitats like those probably take care of the noise/light issues.

My biggest concern for the Bats would probably be diseases. Like @AE brought up. WNS is probably a big concern especially as all those vehicles are bringing in soil from distant locations (which are often caves as well). Rabies may also be an issue.

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