COLUMBUS, Ga. -
More than 50 bats have been captured so far from the Columbus Government Center.
The city has hired Southeast Wildlife, LLC to evacuate the animals from the building where hundreds work everyday. Tuesday the men captured about 10 of the Brazilian Freetail bats from the second floor of the East Wing. The rest have been literally hanging out in the East Wing atrium.
Danny Cofield is the owner of Southeast Wildlife and he says they believe there are still some hiding out of reach. He says the process of removing them could take a couple of weeks, but he says they aren't trying to nest, the nocturnal creatures probably just got lost.
"It seemed to me like they got confused as to which way was out because they didn't want to come in," he says. "They want to go out. They got confused, and just kind of got stuck in the building, and we just went down there and removed them from inside the building, all the ones that we saw." Employees have said they believe bats being in such a populated area is definitely a health hazard, but Cofield says he still has to assess the building before confirming any such dangers.
Once Cofield figures out how the bats are getting into the building, he will build a tunnel-like system so the rest of the bats can escape and not get back in, and hopefully prevent another infestation. He will also inspect the West Wing, which is rumored to have bats as well.
Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin says the city previously paid $17,000 to put up a steel wool escape valve on just half of the East Wing with another company. The bats managed to find their way around that tunnel. Cofield says it costs significantly less for Southeast Wildlife to assess and outfit the building.