The zoo was released on Friday, “On Sunday, July 4, a guest reported to the camp manager that she woke up and saw a wild bat near her head.”
No scratches or bite marks were found on the female, but zoo workers and seven wild bats gathered from the Scott Aquarium, which hosted a series of overnight camps over the weekend.
The bats were sent to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Veterinary Diagnostic Center for rabies testing, and the Douglas County Health Department was notified of the potential exposure.
The zoo discovered late Wednesday that one of the bats had tested positive for rabies, the statement said.
As a result, 186 overnight guests and some zoo staff who attended the nightly events on June 29-30 and July 2-3 were sent a letter informing them of their potential exposure to rabies and, based on CDC guidelines, recommended rabies injections.
The statement states, “The Henry Doorly Zoo and Omaha Aquarium will provide these guests with refunds for their event and information on how to obtain post-exposure prophylaxis at the zoo’s expense.”
Zoo crews have also been searching for penetration or access points and any evidence of long-range bats in recent days.
Dr. Sarah Woodhouse, the zoo’s director of animal health, said the bats were most likely “little brown batsIt is a common species in Nebraska.
“To be clear, this was a wild bat that ended up in the aquarium, not a bat from the zoo’s collection,” the zoo said in a statement.
The zoo plans to continue overnight camps at other zoos until it is confirmed that bats have been removed, the access point is repaired, and there has been a “full week of bat-free nighttime observations.”
Henry Doorly officials said those who visited the zoo during normal business hours should not worry about potential exposure, but noted that rabies infections are common in wild bats.
“We want to assure our guests who have visited the aquarium during the day that they do not have to worry about bats with rabies. Bats are nocturnal animals, so they are not active — or awake — during the zoo’s normal business hours,” Dr. Woodhouse said in the statement.
Copyright 2021 WOW. All rights reserved.