TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A swarm of potentially rabid bats swooping and swirling inside and outside a now-closed military museum in Edgecombe County is causing concern.
The Edgecombe County Veterans Military Museum has been closed while wildlife agents and local animal control staffers investigate bats at the facility, according to county officials.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, but the ladies that are work with me — they are hollering and screaming,” said Matt McClure who works across the street from the museum.
As the sun went down Monday evening dozens from a colony of bats were seen rushing out of a vent on the side of the museum and swarming the parking lot.
Two dead bats could be seen on the floor inside the museum.
McClure said that over the past couple of weeks he and his co-workers have seen crews working on the museum’s roof and boarding up roofs.
The Edgecombe County Health Department sent out a warning that there is small chance the bats could be rabid saying in part “not all bats carry rabies, but they are considered a high-risk species for rabies transmission.”
A press release from the department added that “since bats can transmit rabies through superficial contact or an unnoticed encounter, any potential exposure to a bat requires a thorough evaluation and risk assessment.”
“That’s a little concerning,” said McClure.
McClure and his co-workers park in the lot adjacent to the museum every day and pass the building just before sunset.
“We would just hear them over here, but when they closed up probably about two weeks ago, we would see them peeking down and see them swirling. Yeah, it’s kind of wild,” he said.
The Edgecombe County Health Department is asking anyone who visited the museum in the last six months and might have come in contact the bats to give them a call at (252) 641-7505.
According to its website, the Edgecombe Co. Veterans Military Museum’s is closed for “maintenance.” The museum’s chairman said he had no comment about the situation, and refused to answer when they might reopen.
For additional information on Rabies and bat exposures please visit this website or contact Edgecombe County Health Department at (252) 641-7505.
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