Crews at Lackland Air Force Base have found a 'small colony' of between 500 and 600 Mexican Free Tailed Bats living in that brick dormitory where bat sighting have prompted the inoculation of hundreds of Air Force cadets agaisnt rabies, 1200 WOAI news reports.
While that sounds like a lot of bats, it is in reality small in terms of this species, where standard roosts can number 10,000 or more. The Bracken Bat Cave in north Bexar County is believed to have a population of 20 million bats.
Officials say the bats apparently made their way into the barracks when the windows were left open due to unseasonably warm weather earlier this month.
Crews are not sealing all entrances to the barracks, including installing mesh covers over all interior vents and checking ceiling tiles and doors. The windows will remain closed, and a 'bat watch' has been established to make sure no bats enter the dormitory while the trainees are sleeping.
So far there have been no reports of any recruits being bitten by bats, but 205 trainees who live in the building are undergoing the series of five shots which will inoculate them against rabies, which can have an incubation period of as long as one year.
All dormitory buildings on Lackland will now be inspected for bats as well.
The Air Force says this is being done out of an 'abundance of caution.'