1,200 bats flushed from Slidell gym during basketball game


01:54 PM CST on Tuesday, March 2, 2004

SLIDELL - For the second time in two years, Slidell High School is trying to prevent bats from sneaking into its buildings. Over a thousand of the animals set up home recently in the school's gymnasium.

School workers are trying to find the cracks that the bats used to squeeze into the building. But they're going to have to look carefully. According to Kurt Burnett, managing director of the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, bats can wriggle through cracks with widths as small as a dime or a nickel.

Around 1,200 bats had turned Slidell High into their home. The company hired to remove the animals took them to a farm last week in Mississippi and released them. Last week, however, three bats briefly interrupted a district playoff basketball game when they swooped down from the rafters.

As of Monday, the remaining bats were captured and released.

The school suffered a similar infestation last year. School system spokeswoman Linda Roan says they're working to close all entryways to keep the bats from returning.


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