Look Pats! We’ve got bats!

Bat safely released after being sighted near the south gym

Bat

Benjamin Jackson

A bat rests on the bricks by the doors to the south gym. Photo by Ben Jackson

Benjamin Jackson and Olivia Ellison

The 300s wing of Millard South High School had an exciting visitor this morning as a Little Brown Bat named Bruce was spotted inside the school. Attention to the bat was called by a number of students through their social media. This however, is not the first time that bats have been sighted in Millard South.

Security guard John ‘Chapo’ Perez said he has had to deal with “about 6,” bats from the time he arrived at Millard South in 2014.

According to outdoornebraska.gov, bats do not migrate seasonally, but they do hibernate in cave-like environments with stable temperatures and still air. This means that as winter approaches these bats tend to look for warm stable areas, just like inside our school.

Perez, in reference to his first bat sighting said, “[The first one was] probably after I got hired. Mainstreet, back in 2014-15.”

Perez also elaborated on the process that the school goes through to deal with bat encounters. Typically the process is as follows. A bat is identified within the school, the custodial staff is alerted, the custodial staff calls the Nebraska Humane Society, the Humane Society sends a bat-catching team to retrieve the bat, the bat is rescued and tested for rabies, if the bat has rabies it is terminated, and if the bat tests negative it is set free.

Photo by Dylan Wiese (Dylan Wiese)

However, one student took actions into his own hands, capturing and releasing the bat before the Humane Society could be called.

Julian Humm, a bystander, decided to attempt rescuing the wayward bat. “I was, in the 300’s hallway by the locker room in the gym. It was just chillin’, and I put a basket over it, and it started squeaking. After I got it in the bucket, some teacher guy came and was like ‘What are you doing’ and I was like ‘I caught a Bat. I’m a zookeeper now.’ And he was like ‘Alright, we gotta take it outside.’” After Junior Humm had shown his teacher, he took it outside, and set it free.

In the end, the bat will still be captured and tested by the Humane Society for release, but for now we are left with the question: What will happen to the Millard South bat?