WTAMU: Colony of bats discovered living in Founders Hall
CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University said WT Residential Living discovered that a colony of bats are living in Founders Hall.
The University says students should not see the bats inside the building, however, the colony currently occupies the space in the wall along the southwest side of the building.
WTAMU is working with local pest control professionals to slowly encourage the bat colony to vacate the premises.
“Putting in, it’s like a cone shaped device that’s going to go at their entrance, where it allows the bats to exit in a healthy normal manner. but doesn’t allow them to come back,” said Chance Haugen, assistant vice president, student affairs, WTAMU.
WTAMU, along with a wildlife professor says this method is humane and safe.
“What they’re doing is the ideal thing for the animals and for the situation and that is waiting until they’re done reproducing, if you would just seal that up, you’re going to seal bats up in your wall and then you have a really bad odor issue and I don’t know how you can live with yourself knowing that you just trapped animals in there to die,” said Ray Matlack, wildlife biology professor, WTAMU.
WT Risk Management also conducted initial environmental monitoring.
Experts say it’s a safe living environment for the students that are living around the impacted areas. It’s a safe living environment for the students walking in the hallways.
“The air quality it’s you know it’s a nuisance, but we brought in some air scrubbers to really help that nuisance and reduce that,” said Haugen.
Areas immediately impacted near the southwest exterior wall are closed, and residents are asked to stay clear of those areas at this time.
Professor Matlack says bats in Texas are very common and in the Amarillo-Canyon area, there are up to a dozen species.
He says in our environment it is not unusual for bats to roost in buildings.
For those worried about bats carrying rabies, he says not to be worried.
“A bat that’s ill is like a wet paper towel laying on the ground, so a bat with rabies is not going to be generally something that’s a big a big problem, just do not handle them,” said Matlack.
WTAMU says nobody has seen these bats, they have only smelled them.
Students are asked to contact Residential Living staff if they see bats indoors and if you see one outdoors admire it from a distance and do not capture it
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