Emergency room in Texas shuts down because of … bats?

Big brown bats, such as this one in Oregon, are among the three most common bats found in the U.S.

Big brown bats, such as this one in Oregon, are among the three most common bats found in the U.S. Photo: Angell Williams/Flickr

An emergency room in Kilgore, Texas, was forced to temporarily close its doors Tuesday night after an infestation of small bats spread throughout the building, the Associated Press reported.

Bats were discovered in the walls, ceilings and in the area that receives ambulances.

“We have been working in conjunction with the City of Kilgore and Allegiance Specialty Hospital, who own and manage the building, to address the prompt removal of the bats,” the Good Shepherd Medical Center said in a statement via the Kilgore Police Department.

“A wildlife expert specializing in bat removal is on site evaluating the situation and providing guidance. At this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our patients and our staff to temporarily cease our ER services until the situation is resolved. This decision is not made lightly but is necessary for minimizing the risk of contact with the bats.”

A report by KLTV said it would take up to two and a half weeks to clean up and remove the bats. Here is its report:

“The safety of our staff and patients always comes first, and we appreciate the hard work by the City of Kilgore and Allegiance to resolve the situation quickly,” Good Shepherd Medical Center wrote. “We look forward to resuming the full spectrum of emergency care services as soon as possible.”

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