JOHNSON CITY, Texas – A San Antonio man said he and his friends were bitten by vampire bats while they were camping in Johnson City.
Rusten Ramsey never even heard of vampire bats. But now he is well acquainted with the blood-thirsty creatures that usually prey on animals.
Ramsey said while on a trip, he and his friends decided to sleep outdoors on their truck beds. Ramsey said it was a cool night, and the cabin nearby was filled with snake skins. They thought they'd be safe while sound asleep.
Ramsey says when he awoke, he had about ten blood splotches, the size of nickels, on his arms.
"I had absolutely no idea. I didn't know if it was Blair Witch. That's the first thing that came to my mind," Ramsey said.
What's worse, his best friend's girlfriend had bite marks on her face.
The group went online and typed in "slept outside, woke up with blood on our body." What came up was vampire bats. With them crawling all over his body, he never woke up.
"That was by far the worst part," he said.
Doctors in Temple confirmed the bites as that of being from vampire bats.
The warmer climate attracted the bats to Texas. They are flying from Mexico and are making a more regular appearance in the Lone Star State.
"You'd like to think if something's crawling on you, or biting you, you would think you would wake up," said Ramsey.
Ramsey says the tongues of the bats lick the flesh and cause it to begin bleeding. The substance in their tongues numbs the area. Soon after the blood begins to appear, they drink it.
Medical professionals treat rabies frequently.
"Dogs, cats, we have seen bats," said Leilani Roman, a University Health System LVN.
Roman said they've even treated people for threats of rabies because of monkey bites.
Dogs are the most common animals for rabies treatments. But for vampire bat bites, they are not as common.
That night, Ramsey said there weren't cattle or deer. He believes his group of three became a prime target.
"When they found us in the backs of trucks, they had a harvest," Ramsey said.