Bats migrate to Utah for the spring, raising health concerns

Bats migrate to Utah for the spring, raising health concerns

PROVO, UT – Bats are migrating back to Utah just in time for spring, but they might not be the vampires you’d expect.

BYU biology professor Duke Rogers, the Monte L. Bean museum director, said all 18 bat species in Utah are consume insects. While most hibernate during winter, two species migrate south to warmer areas, like New Mexico.

Rogers said most people don’t encounter bats because they are nocturnal. “You’d have to be really looking just at dusk, and watching something that you might think is a bird. But it’s moving faster, and that would most likely be a bat.”

According to the CDC, if you see a bat during the day, especially laying on the ground, don’t touch it with your bare hands, since it is likely sick. The Utah County Health Department advises that, if you’re comfortable, grab some gloves and use a shovel to put the bat in a container. Finally, call the department so they can bring the bat in to test for viruses.

If a bat scratches or bites you, wash the wound and seek medical attention immediately, since rabies is a common concern.

The CDC also warns to teach children to never handle unknown animals. “Love your own and leave other animals alone.”

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