Low number of bats found in other Vigo County schools

Big Brown Bat
(Eptesicus fuscus)
Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Last month Sarah Scott Middle School was in the spotlight as they dealt with removing a colony of bats.

The latest story though is two live bats found at Honey Creek Middle School, and three live bats found at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.

Christina Keller with the Vigo County Health Department says dealing with bats isn’t a new thing.

“Everyone is well aware there are bats in Indiana,” Keller said. “It’s not a new thing to see them. It’s not a new thing especially when we talk about personal homes, or when we’re out in the early dawn or dusk hours and you see them flying around.”

The difference with this situation is the lack of number of bats in the schools.

Keller explains with the colony, there was an elevated risk.

“You have 100 people, that have the flu for example, and you have two, or you have a hundred people and you have 2 who are healthy,” Keller said. “So obviously there the population there is greater so you have a greater risk of different viruses, different diseases such as rabies, so you have a higher risk in that population just purely because there’s more of them.”

However, the risk exists for something like rabies to be spread.

That’s why they show an interest in the schools despite the low number.

“So all it would take is one obviously, and the concern at that point is that we wouldn’t know if they came into contact with somebody,” Keller said.

Keller says looking for droppings or knowing what bats sound like might be the only way you know they’re there.
And adds talking about these situations is very important.

“When things like this happen, or unfortunate accidents happen, they are unfortunate, but in terms of education, sometimes it works out for us.”

Keller says it’s also important kids know what bats are and what to look for.

And says it’s very important they report what they’ve seen so the situation can be looked in to.

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