COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- As the next Midnight Yell and home football game at Kyle Field approach this weekend, Texas A&M University officials are reminding students, faculty, staff and visitors that bats on campus should not be touched or disturbed.
This is of concern because bats are considered high risk for rabies. In addition, a few species in Texas are considered endangered or threatened.
Whether a bat is flying, injured, trapped within a building or appears to be dead, officials say people should avoid contact and immediately notify the nearest game attendant or call the Facilities Services Communications Center at 979-845-4311.
If unintentional contact with a bat occurs, immediately contact the communications center, notify a nearby game attendant or university police officer. If possible, the bat will be collected for rabies testing so that any follow-up measures can be taken in consultation with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
If a collected bat is sent for testing after contact with a person, the impacted individual will be notified with test results and DSHS will work with physicians to assess exposure and advise on appropriate treatment if necessary.
Efforts to exclude bats from the stadium become more effective each year, said Texas A&M Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Christina Robertson. While these mitigation efforts have significantly reduced the bat population at Kyle Field, she said, a few bats continue to find ways to roost at various locations in the stadium.
“Before each Midnight Yell Practice, EHS staff walk the entire east side before gates open to ensure there are no downed bats, alive or dead, and we seldom find any,” Robertson said, adding that staff also do a sweep of the entire stadium before each home game.
The campus community is asked to close all windows and doors, especially in the evening, to help keep bats and other animals from entering buildings.