Beaumont boy bitten by bat

Beaumont boy bitten by bat

Beaumont Animal Services personnel are investigating an incident that occurred Saturday, April 26, in which a young resident was bitten by a bat.

According to a news release from Beaumont Animal Services Supervisor Matthew Fortenberry, early Saturday morning, an officer with Beaumont Animal Services responded to a residence at 1970 Shady Lane in Beaumont; concerning a bat that had bitten a teenager. Upon arrival, the officer discovered that the 16-year-old victim had found a bat floating in their swimming pool. The victim tried to remove the lifeless bat from the pool. The bat was not dead, however and bit the victim and before flying away. The officer was unable to locate the bat, and the victim was advised by the officer and the Texas Department of Health Services to begin post-rabies exposure shots as a precautionary measure.

Beaumont Animal Services would like to remind people that even though bats are highly beneficial to our ecosystem, with a single bat being able to catch more than 1,000 mosquito size insects in just one hour, they still have the potential to carry rabies.

In general, if you find an injured, sick or dead bat, do not touch it. Locally, the birthing seasons for bats are May through June; and this is a common time to find bats on the ground, weighted down with its young.  If one does find a bat inside their house, immediately call your local Animal Control agency to have a trained officer sent to capture the bat. Animal Services also offers the following recommendations:

    * Remove any children of pets from the room;

    * Confine the bat to one room by closing the windows and doors;

    * Turn on the lights if the room is dark;

    * Wait for the bat to land;

    * At this point watch the bat for animal control or, If possible, cover the bat with a      coffee can or other similar container;

    * Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat; tape the cardboard to the can;

    * Turn over to animal control.

If you are certain that no contact was made between the bat and a person or domestic animal has occurred, you may take the container outside and release the bat away from populated areas, according to Beaumont Animal Services.