bats, mammal, UGA, University of Georgia

UGA Students Battle Bats In Dorms Amid Public Health Concern

UGA students are facing a battle with bats as they swarm one of the school's dorms.

The University of Georgia (UGA) is dealing with an unlikely battle with bats. An infestation of the mammal in one of the school’s dorms, Oglethorpe House, has students and parents alike concerned for their safety.

As students returned for the spring term, bats were found within and surrounding the dorm. Oglethorpe House residents have caught the flying mammal in their hallways, causing students to be on high alert when venturing out of their rooms. One student told Fox 5 about her experience with one of the bats flying after her.

“It’s very alarming,” shared student Eva Sardon. “There was one in the lobby, and it was, like, on the floor, and then all of a sudden, it just got up and started flying at me, so I ran back to my room.”

Atlanta News First shared photos and video of the numerous bats within the facility,

While UGA is taking the legal steps to remove the bats, requiring certain precautions for a protected species, some students feel more should be done to ensure their own well-being.

“I don’t know how exterminating works, but I feel like there could be more done,’ shared first-year student Ella Jones. “But they have certain qualifications they can’t do because they’re a protected species. But I go to school here, am I not a protected species? I sure hope I am.”

According to Executive Director of Campus Housing Linda Kasper, the bats found their way into the building through holes on the roof of the penthouse. However, despite having contacted a pest control company to resolve the issue, the mammal’s small frame can make them hard to track down.

The issue has caused the university to contact the Georgia Department of Health to ensure no students are infected by diseases like rabies. While bats carrying fatal illnesses such as this are particularly rare, Kasper has assured that the school is remaining diligent to note of any bat exposure by the campus community,

“We’ve been working with the Department of Public Health since last week encouraging anyone who has had any contact with the bats, so everyone who lives in this building, everyone who has worked in this building, to take a survey.”