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Missing Teens Found After Search Leads to Abandoned Mine That's Home to 100,000 Bats


Missing Teens Found After Search Leads to Abandoned Mine That's Home to 100,000 Bats Zachary Heron, 16, Tate Rose, 16, and Samuel Lein were reported missing Sunday. (Dodge County Sheriff's Office Handout)

Three Wisconsin teens who vanished near an abandoned mine have been found after an overnight search of the structure said to be home to thousands of bats.

Zachary Heron and Tate Rose, both 16, were reported missing Sunday in the Town of Hubbard, along with their 15-year-old friend Samuel Lein. 

On Monday afternoon, they were found safe after apparently spending the night stuck in a mine shaft.

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The teens' bikes were found near the Neda mine, an abandoned 150-year-old iron repository. The mine is now one the largest sanctuaries for hibernating bats in the Midwest.

The University of Wisconsin, which owns the mine because of its bat population, estimates the caverns are home to about 100,000 of the winged mammals.

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The mine is in a heavily wooded area where there are multiple mine tunnels and entrances, which made search efforts difficult, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said at a Monday morning news conference.

"It's very tough. You have emergency responders trying not to get hurt, drones. It's dangerous for responders. We're doing everything we can to keep them safe, including shoring up mines before they go inside," Schmidt said.

News footage from the scene shows the boys emerging from the woods under their own power.

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