Little brown bat wing with White Nose Syndrome. (submitted)

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Be aware of little brown bats that could latch onto your camper, hiding in the nooks and crannies of trailers or campers, before inadvertently being brought into B.C.

The province is asking for residents to check for stowaway bats in their vehicles while travelling this summer before returning back to the B.C..

The concern is that some of these bats could be carrying a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome, a disease that is not dangerous to people or pets, but has killed millions of bats in eastern North America.

While it hasn’t taken hold in B.C. yet, it has recently arrived in nearby Washington State, the ministry of environment said, leaving B.C.’s chief veterinary officer concerned.

Travellers are asked to check under any small compartments where a bat could hide, such as closed umbrellas, awnings or gear racks.

If a bat is found, the ministry says to use a thick towel or oven mitts to remove it, gently nudge it into a container and safely release it.

If you find one in your vehicle after a long trip, the ministry asks you notify the B.C. Wildlife Health Program or the B.C. Community Bat Program at 1-855-922-2287.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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