Bat in Montgomery passes test

By Jackie Nevarez

Bat sightings in NIU buildings can be resolved with a call to NIU Police and removal by DeKalb Animal Control.

The DeKalb County Health Department reported the first rabid bat of the year had been found in a DeKalb home on Aug. 19, becoming one of 18 rabid bats found statewide as of Aug. 21.

Bianca Alvarez, senior public health major, said she had a class that had to be moved from Montgomery Hall due to a bat in the auditorium Sept. 4. Alvarez said she saw a sign indicating her 3:30 p.m. class was moved to another room and her professor told her she saw a bat in the auditorium.

Alvarez said her 9:30 a.m. class, also held in Montgomery auditorium earlier that day, was not moved to another classroom and there was no bat sighting at that time.

NIU Police Cmdr. Jason John said police call animal control for any report of bats in buildings. John said he had heard of the bat sighting in Montgomery Hall and confirmed the bat captured had tested negative for rabies.

“For any kind of animal that is not your dog or cat, we contact animal control and they will have their personnel come out and deal with that,” John said. “We’re in the business of public safety; we’d appreciate knowing if there was a potentially dangerous animal on the loose.”

Dan Berres, DeKalb County Animal Control warden, said DeKalb Animal Control has removed bats from NIU buildings, as well as raccoons and squirrels “acting strangely” from campus grounds.

“Right now, the bats are very active,” Berres said. “They go in cycles. We’ll have a couple dozen calls in a week, then we won’t have one for a month or two … . I know if I have a bat call, I get ready for a slew of other ones.”

Berres said there is no cost involved in the removal of animals, as DeKalb Animal Control is a government agency.