OMAHA, Neb. “Nearly 200 people were possibly exposed to a rabid bat while staying overnight in Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium,” the zoo said.
Zoo and Nebraska health officials recommended that approx. 186 campers who spent the night in the aquarium in recent weeks, as well as some employees, got rabies shots.
A camper on July 4 woke up to a wild bat flying around her head. An emergency medical technician found no bites or scratches on her.
The zoo found seven wild bats in the aquarium and killed them. One tested positive for rabies.
The zoo in a press release on Friday said it has recommended that people exposed to wild bats while sleeping get rabies shots. Zoo gave campers reimbursement and pays for their shots.
Director of Animal Health Dr. Sarah Woodhouse said in a statement that guests who visited the aquarium during the day should not be worried because bats only come out at night.
“The bats we identified were small brown bats, a common bat species in Nebraska that anyone could find in their backyard or attic,”
Zoo staff found no evidence of prolonged bat rust at the aquarium. The zoo said it has moved all the campsite overnight elsewhere as workers try to figure out how the bats got into the building.