High school’s homecoming dance postponed due to bats in the gym

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    DAVIS, California (KOVR) — Over the weekend, Davis Senior High School had to postpone its homecoming dance.

Not because of any logistical or technical issue. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a bat in the gym.

“I was just kind of like, ‘bats, that’s kind of crazy,'” said Davis High junior Gavin Mark.

He quickly learned how common it is to find bats on campus. The district announced it learned Friday about the furry critters. After consulting with wildlife experts, 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,” said Corky Quirk who works with the organization as a researcher and educator.

Quirk said there is more movement of bats, especially during migration in the spring and fall.

She believes 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 cannot remove them from the rafters.

Though it usually does remove bats from people’s homes.

“Where people are sleeping is the biggest concern,” Ofc. Stephanie Amato said. “Or, young children, pets – things that can tell you that they’ve come in contact with it.”

Ofc. Amato said there are several bat colonies around Davis.

The CDC reports bats are one of the most commonly 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 will hit the dancefloor.

Mark said this year’s homecoming symbolized a return to normalcy. Last fall, the school held the dance in the quad.

“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,” he said.

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