The closing of Devil’s Icebox is impacting hikers

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, Devil’s Icebox is still closed. The closing of the cave, located at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, is affecting hikers. The cave is closed due to white nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that affects bats, within the cave. Though the disease is spread through bat-to-bat contact, experts believe that humans who visit infected caves can spread the disease.

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Devil's Icebox, located at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 is closed due to white nose syndrome infecting the bats inhabiting the cave.

Reagan Nielsen, MU sophomore, frequents the area.

“Hiking is a pastime for my friends and I,” Nielsen said. “The cave is usually the highlight of our hike. The fact that it has closed is very sad because it’s really cool to go in. It’s unfortunate that this is a disease that the bats have to deal with.”

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Reagan Nielsen, a sophomore at MU, looks at the sign at Devil's Icebox, located at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, that indicates that the cave is still closed off.

The closing of the cave is temporary while experts work to stop the spreading of this disease.

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