Early Halloween? Bats are found at the Jefferson County courthouse
HILLSBORO, Mo. (KMOV) - At least 15 bats have been caught inside the Jefferson County courthouse recently. Attorney, Tim Pudlowski told News 4 that the first time he saw a bat in the courthouse was 3 months ago.
“Walking into a courtroom up in another division and there was a bat hanging from the ceiling. Just hanging there,” he said.
Bats have been seen hanging from the ceiling and crawling on the floor. Kim Johnston has also seen a bat.
“I was walking down the hall and one was underneath the heater grate,” she said.
No one knows how the bats are getting into the courthouse. Dan Zarlenga with the Missouri Conservation Department said bats native to Missouri are small and can get through an opening the size of a quarter. He also said many think bats only live in caves but that’s usually just during the winter months.
“When the weather warms up in the breeding seasons and all that, they actually leave those places a lot of times and find other places to go,” said Zarlenga.
There are no reports of anyone being harmed by a bat. And Zarlenga said the incidents of people being bitten by a bat and contracting rabies are extremely low. But bats are a hot topic at the courthouse.
“Yeah people have been talking about it quite a bit,” said Pudlowski.
County officials have talked about hiring a wildlife removal company to solve the bat problem. But Zarlenga recommends the county wait to do that.
“We really can’t endorse any type of removal or exclusion methods during the summer months while they are rearing young. That usually is a process usually by around the end of August,” he said.
Bats that are native to Missouri are considered endangered species and are protected by law. It’s illegal to kill a bat in Missouri unless it’s damaging your property.
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