Homecoming dance postponed after bats found in California high school gym

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:17 AM EDT
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DAVIS, Calif. (KMAX/KOVR) - Some California high school students were hoping this year’s homecoming would be a return to normalcy.

But that wasn’t the case after the dance had to postponed because of bats in Davis Senior High School’s North Gym.

“I was just kind of like, bats? That’s kind of crazy,” said student Gavin Mark.

The district announced it learned Friday about the furry critters.

After consulting with wildlife experts, the district said it could not get the bats to leave in time for Saturday’s dance.

Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation group Northern California Bats suspects the school is dealing with Mexican Free-tailed Bats.

“These guys tend to be the culprits in the buildings,” especially during migration in the spring and fall, said Corky Quirk of Northern California Bats.

The recent weather whiplash may have thrown them off track.

Perhaps they wandered in the gym looking for food or possibly shelter.

Whatever the reason, Yolo County’s animal services can’t remove them from the rafters, though it usually does remove bats from people’s homes.

“Where people are sleeping is the biggest concern. Or young children, pets - things that can’t tell you that they’ve come in contact with it,” said Stephanie Amato of Yolo County Sheriff’s Office.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that bats are one of the most reported rabid animals in the U.S. and are the leading cause of rabies deaths in Americans.

While the school waits for the bats to leave, students anxiously await when they’ll hit the dance floor.

“So many things just have been kind of thrown at us that now it’s just kind of like we need to go with the flow and find the best in every situation,” Mark said.

Wildlife experts say if you see a bat in your home, try to confine it to one room.

And don’t touch the animal without gloves. Rabies is transmitted through saliva.