Maybe you have experienced the horror of having a wild bat flying around your house. If you have, then there is a good chance that you called animal control officials to have the bat/s removed from your home. This is not at all uncommon, and wildlife rehabilitation organizations can collect hundreds or even thousands of bats this way. For example, the Nebraska Wildlife Rehabilitation Service collected four hundred bats from all over the state in just one year. Most of these captured bats were collected from people’s homes and other indoor areas. So what happens to all of these bats? Since bats are protected by law, state wildlife agencies are required to release captured bats so that they can have a chance to live. As you can guess, releasing hundreds of bats back into the wild can make some residents nervous.
In the state of Nebraska, the wildlife services release all of their captured bats on one day every year. On the day the bats are released hundreds of people attend the yearly “bat-bash” at the Jocelyn Art Museum. These people attend the bash in order to catch a glimpse of the hundreds of bats that are released at the same time.
The interested onlookers love the spectacle, but many nearby residents are concerned with the release of so many bats. Some residents insist that some of these bats will find their way back into people’s homes. One resident says that she saw five bats in her home last spring, just days after last years bat-bash. In order to keep her home bat-free the Nebraska resident has had to contact a bat control company, which has put her back several hundred dollars. Some residents who claim that the released bats simply reinvade the city of Omaha also insist that the bats are a health risk. This year five of the four hundred captured bats had rabies, but only the healthy bats were released. State wildlife officials say that the bats are protected, and releasing them back into the wild does not put anybody’s health at risk.
Have you ever had to call an animal control professional to have a bats, or bats, removed from your home?