By William Sawyers
On a nice sunny day on October 25th, 2007 at about 1:45pm,
I had a student from room 25, That come to my custodian room and requested that I get a bat out of their class room.
I thought they meant a baseball bat, maybe up high on their closets. As I proceeded to walk to the class. The student told me, "You need a Net!" As it's a real bat flying around.
I walked quickly back to my office and grabbed a make-shift net made for netting that was connected to a 6 foot pole made of PVC pipe. I approached Mrs. Wallis class stood out side the room. "Here's Bill to get the Bat," they excitedly exclaimed. I entered the classroom and I seen this bat flying and darting around the room. I got a little excited too. I'd caught many birds in the classrooms-But, including 10 sparrows, a morning Dove, and a Swallow tail, but never a Bat!
I walked around the room cautiously trying to catch the bat in my net because I didn't want to hurt it. About 10 minutes passed before I finally Swooped the net over the bat in mid-air, and then lowered the net to the floor. I asked the teacher to send one of the students to my office for a blue bucket and a piece of cardboard for a cover.
It seemed like 15 minutes to wait for the bucket and the piece of cardboard, but it was only about 2 minutes.
I then gently placed the cardboard under the net a raised the bat to the bucket, then I dropped it in very carefully. It was making a very neat sound, and yes it had very sharp teeth. I was walking it back to my office a lot of children was following me back- requesting they get to touch it, I had to tell them NO! I didn't want anyone to get bit.
When I got to my office I had to shut my office door. to keep out the students. I seen a teacher from the after school program and asked for a pair of thick gloves?
I had no Idea why this night creature was flying around in the day time? Then I was thinking of rabies or something else bad. I then raced home to grab my camera as to take pictures of it.
By then Leanne from the after school program lent me a pair of thick gloves. I then went into my office and put on the gloves to take pictures. Yes, my heart was then pounding, what if it escaped from the net or the bucket? Would it bite me?
By this time the children where getting out of school gathering around out side of my door getting all excited and knocking on my door for a quick look. I ignored them. I had to leave the card board over the bucket and placed some thing on top as it wouldn't escape. I then went around doing my daily routines of emptying trash and taking back the lunch buckets back to the classrooms left from the students at lunch time. When I was finished at 2:55pm
I took the bucket with the bat and card board and loaded it into my truck. I then raced home to check in with my daughter Amanda. She was just coming home then from her school, she's now 14 years old. I asked her if she wanted to go with me to the Lindsey Museum in Walnut Creek. She said yes. I drove to the next town, Walnut Creek, Ca. to the Lindsey Museum. We took the bucket with the bat and entered thru the doors of the Lindsey building. My daughter rang the bell for service. I had a lady came out and asked what we had. A bat I said. I had to fill out some forms as to where I got it and my phone number and my address, they took the bat into a little room in the back to do an exam of it. While we were waiting I made a $20.00 donation. It all helps out.
They returned after awhile telling me it was a Mexican free tail bat. It diet consist of mainly mosquito's. And it has a flight of about 50 miles a night looking for them. They gave me a card with a number on it and told me to call in about 4 days to see how it's doing.
Four day's later I called and it was doing fine, no rabies. They said it might have been poisoned a little do to the fact some cities where spraying for mosquito's. And it might have consumed a few tainted ones and got disoriented and confused. They also mentioned it was going to be released soon. I requested that I go with them to release it with them? Then I could get more pictures as that would be cool. Then they said sorry they couldn't let me go with them. Oh-well, at least this turned out to be a good ending. A day latter after work I got on the internet and looked up this Mexican free tailed bat and got information about, then printed it out and put on the teachers desk, the next day the teacher shared with her class