Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 35
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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Weather Forecast

Dozens of Bats, Including a Rabid One, Found in Local Homes, Campus Buildings

Dilshanie Perera

Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson has reported seizing approximately two dozen bats over the past two to three weeks from homes in the Borough and Township, as well as buildings at the University. While most of the winged creatures have been benign, one captured in a house on Jefferson Road has recently tested positive for rabies.

Following state protocol, which requires bats captured within residential spaces to be tested for rabies, Mr. Johnson received the results last Monday.

The spate of bat trespass into houses and attics is likely linked to the weather, Mr. Johnson speculated. “With the drought being as bad as it is, the bug population is very low, and since the beginning of August, baby bats are beginning to come out on their own.”

This increased activity, as well as foraging for food, likely alerted residents to the presence of the winged mammals in their respective abodes. “Nine times out of 10, people don’t even know that bats are living in their attic,” Mr. Johnson said. The giveaway is typically the presence of bat feces on the outside of the house, or in the immediate surroundings, but “you have to know what you’re looking at.”

Residents finding a bat are advised not to try capturing it themselves, but instead to call Animal Control at (609) 924-2728 during the day, or the local police department in the evening or on weekends. Borough residents can call (609) 924-4141, and Township residents can call (609) 921-2100.

“It is preferable that residents do not approach the animal,” Mr. Johnson emphasized.

In other, creature-related news, the python mentioned in the July 14, 2010, issue of Town Topics, has not been captured, nor has it been sighted in Smoyer Park since early July, suggesting it is no longer in the area. “I am assuming it went north toward Herrontown Woods or Autumn Hill Woods,” Mr. Johnson said. “That’s the only place it could have gone without my knowledge.”

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