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School leaders say no need to clean school with bat issue

Action News cameras caught school system employees doing a walk-through of the roof area of Abess Elementary School Wednesday to figure out the next step of the bat issue. School officials say they found no bat droppings or urine and therefore won't be doing any extra cleaning. It's a decision that Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti agrees with.

"I think you have to go by evidence, and the school has been walked through and we have not found evidence of droppings or anything that looked like droppings and the ones from the past have been cleaned," said Vitti.

The school said the bats were first reported a week ago. Our cameras caught the bats flying out on Monday night, then coming out of a newly-installed catch screen on the following Tuesday night.

Action News went to the Jacksonville Zoo to ask someone familiar with bats if its possible for that many bats to live in an area without leaving a trace. Dan Maloney said it's possible, but a lot of factors influence it.

"So depending on how long they've been there, how many bats and how well they're concentrated would give you a better feeling for how much is left behind," said Maloney.

Vitti said school leaders will remain vigilant.

"We haven't had a bat sighting, but that doesn't mean there aren't bats still in the building. But we have set up traps so that if a bat or bats are in the building, they'll be captured and we'll eradicate the issue," said Vitti.

The school system has already sent one letter home to parents informing them of the bat issue, and we're told another will be sent by the close of this week to update parents on the bat situation. Vitti said the reason for the delay of a letter being sent out to parents is because school officials wanted to investigate first and be sure of what they were dealing with.

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