Bats invade Utah courthouse day before Halloween

The bats are believed to have entered when a worker left a vent open.

By Fred Lambert
(Jessicajil/ CC)
(Jessicajil/ CC)

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ST. GEORGE, Utah, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Bats numbering in what some call the "thousands" invaded a court in Utah just a day before Halloween.

Court workers told St. George News that the creatures may have entered the 5th District Courthouse in Washington County, Utah, after construction workers left a vent open on the outside of the building.


The bats have been reported all over the facility but are mainly congregated inside vents, where they can be heard "scratching inside the ceiling in some areas," a court employee said.

One source told St. George News that the bats numbered in the thousands, but Rick Davis, trial court executive for the 5th District Court, said that the number of bats -- and how long it will take to remove the animals -- is unknown.

The Division of Natural Resources is assisting in removing the bats from the 91,734 square-foot building, while legal proceedings in the courtrooms have gone forward with little interuption save a few cases that were moved to different rooms.

"We did set up a method that will cause the bats to exit the building," Utah Courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said, "and then, at that point, they will be able to catch them."


Bats are known to seek sanctuary in large numbers within buildings. In September, 200 bats took over a Danish woman's home, and in August, a similar number sought residence in a power plant in Vermont.

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