• District to take care of bat problem at Orange County elementary school


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Bats have made themselves at home in an Orange County elementary school, but school leaders want them out as soon as possible.

    In November, school leaders found the bats at Vista Lake Elementary School near Narcoossee Road and Lee Vista Boulevard, but it wasn't until recently workers were asked to remove them, according to Channel 9's Bianca Castro.

    Possibly up to 200 bats are making their way under the metal flashing on the second story of the school, something parent Manuel Almodovar was shocked to learn about.

    "They're bats, you know what I'm saying?" said Almodovar. "You never know what could they do. They're wild animals."

    Channel 9 has learned students and teachers have complained about hearing the bats through the walls and even found a dead bat on the playground.

    But a district spokesperson insists no one is in danger and that lack of urgency is why it's taken three months to hire trappers.

    Castro obtained a report from the Health Department, which visited the school Tuesday. The inspector didn't find any openings that would allow the bats to get inside the school. There were also no bat droppings anywhere near children or staff.

    Bat droppings, known as guano, have caused major problems for residents near a Maitland underpass. Some residents said the strong stench has even affected their health.

    The trapper hired to remove the bats from the school said they should all be gone within the next few weeks.

    The cost to remove the bats will be close to $7,000, Castro found. Classes should not be affected.

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