Rabid bat discovered; no major threat

Big Spring Police Department is notifying the public that on Thursday, its animal control division captured a bat that has tested to be infected with rabies.Other bats were captured the same week and were also sent for testing. Tests on all the other bats were confirmed negative for rabies, said Det. Sgt. Tony Everett, BSPD public information officer.“Bats play an important role by eliminating insects and although myths exist that suggest bats are aggressive towards humans, this is merely a myth,” said Everett. “If you observe a bat flying around during the evening hours this is probably a sign that the bat is hunting for insects and is a healthy bat. Sick bats are most commonly found during the daytime hours in open areas and may not be able to fly,” he added.Anyone who encounters a bat close enough to be touched should remain at a distance.“Under these circumstances, contact the animal control division or the police department immediately,” said Everett.“At this time, only one bat has been found to be carrying the disease and this appears to be an isolated incident. No human exposure has resulted and we will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action as necessary,” he noted.Animal control can be reached at 432-264-2563. To contact the police department, call 432-264-2550.