Breeding season brings out bats in Bristol

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Waking up to a bat in your home can be startling, but animal control advises not to panic. It's actually quite common.

"It's normal this time of year because it's breeding season," said Dyanne Gibree, Bristol Animal Control officer. "Bats can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces."

Over the past week, animal control has responded to five calls about bats inside a building. On Tuesday, town employees were greeted to a large brown bat hanging from the center of the ceiling in town hall.

If a person does find a bat in a home, Ms. Gibree said, it's important that you do not open a door or window to get the bat out.

"If you are sleeping and a bat does bite you, you would never know it," she said. "A bat bite is similar to that of a mosquito. There might not be a visible wound."

Bats are known carriers of rabies and as a result, all bats collected by animal control are sent to the state health department for testing.

"The steps we take are safety precautions," Ms. Gibree said. "The state does not take chances with someone's health and wellbeing."

However, the last bat to test positive for rabies was collected from a home on Mt. Hope Avenue several years ago, Ms. Gibree said.

"When breeding season is over, the bat activity will die down," she said. "We just want to let people know to stop and think, don't let that bat out of the house, and to call the police department which will dispatch animal control."

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tabbycat

Might be a great idea to add a little information about how important to the ecosystem bats are, how many mosquitos they eat, and how they are a threatened species due to white nose syndrome. There really is no need to fear them, and make this all about rabies. If people became more educated, there might be less misinformation. The newspaper can assist with this.

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