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A “batty” situation on Fort Rucker

(KGWN)
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 4:34 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Around July 1st Fort Rucker officials were receiving reports of bat spottings around the physical fitness center.

However there weren’t just a few bats, there were close to 1,500.

They quickly jumped into action to keep all soldiers and fitness center patrons safe.

“What we’ve done is we know where the bats are roosting and we’ve sealed off that area and kept just the main gym area open for patrons,” says Joe Wyka - Director of Public Works for Fort Rucker

Although they are in the building, the bats are not posing any threats.

“Bats are actually dormant during the day and that’s the peak time of usage they come out at dusk and they enter and exit the building from the outside so the impact inside is minimal,” says Mike Garcia - Community Rec Chief

After working with the U-S Department of Agriculture and performing a monitor session, plans are in place to prevent them from returning.

“Bats don’t like to fly up when they enter a building so what you do is wait for the nighttime to happen all of the bats fly out with their young and once the building is empty you quickly install these devices and when they come back they do not want to re-enter the building,” Wyka says.

Bats creating a home at Fort Rucker is nothing new to them. Leading officials to begin looking into future plans of preventing them.

“The bats are two and I’m zero so they are winning the war right now at least the one that i have been involved in so for next summer we are going to be very proactive and examining and inspecting the building beginning in the late spring and all of the way up to July to inure that there is no little spaces or cracks for these bats to get back into the gym,” says Col. Whitney Gardner - Garrison Commander

The bats are mostly females and babies meaning the process is not going to be a quick one.

It could be august 15th before Fort Rucker officials can place the devices.

Officials want to stress that the bats are not in contact with humans and are secluded from general gathering areas.

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