Vampire bats colony at the NC Zoo

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- They crawl, hop and fly -- and look a little creepy. Oh, and of course, they drink blood.

The Vampire Bat colony at the North Carolina Zoo certainly attracts lots of attention. But over the years, their numbers have declined from around 40 to only 18.

So recently, the zoo acquired eight new bats from another facility. After some time in quarantine, they will join the existing colony.

The hope is the bats will mate and repopulate. But because they are mammals, it will take some time.

It means the colony can continue to educate guests about the benefit of all bats.