“The bat was outside the perimeter of the school,” said Michael Barber, assistant superintendent, of Pell City schools. “Somehow this child came in contact with a bat.”
Barber said authorities were called, and the incident was reported to the Pell City Police Department. The city’s animal control officer was also called to the scene.
“Animal control and maintenance were called to make sure we didn’t have any infestation problems,” he said.
There were bat infestation problems at some Pell City schools in the past, but no bat problems have been reported in recent years.
Barber said when the problem was reported, the school system hired professional to eradicate the bats.
“We think this is an isolated incident,” Barber said. “From what I’ve heard, this is the time of year bats are active.”
He said the young girl was taken to the emergency room by her mother, but it didn’t appear the bat-bite broke the skin of the girl.
The bat was captured, so health officials could test the bat for rabies.
“I’m glad they got the bat,” Barber said.
He said school maintenance will actively look for any bat infestation at or around the high school.
Pell City Animal Control Officer Rose Ogden said the bat was transported to the St. Clair County Rabies Officer, so it could be tested for rabies, which is standard procedure.
She said authorities should have results within one week.
Ogden said even though bats have a higher risk of carrying rabies than other animals, bats are beneficial to the community, helping keep insect populations down.
She warns that people should not approach or handle wild animals.