A bat in the basement tests Utah governor’s “fight or flight” reflex

Apr 25, 2021, 4:41 PM
bat Utah governor Spencer Cox...
It was fight or flight for Utah Gov. Spencer Cox over the weekend, when a bat flew into a family room in St. George. (Image: Spencer Cox Twitter)
(Image: Spencer Cox Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY — So what would you do if a bat flew into your family room during family time?

Here’s what Utah Governor Spencer Cox (and his family) did this weekend (careful, loud screaming happens about midway through):

According to a post on Gov. Cox’s personal Twitter account, he and his family were visiting his parents in St. George. As seen on the tweet’s accompanying video, the governor was alerted that something was amiss when his mom, wife, and daughter started screaming.

“I assumed it was a mountain lion,” Gov. Cox tweeted.

It was a bat. Cox said that he and his father were able to get it out of the room thanks to a broom. 

“My apologies to the neighbors,” he said, “and the bat, who are likely traumatized by the chaos.”

Here’s some advice from The Humane Society of the United States, in case you ever find yourself in such a predicament:

  • Remain calm;
  • Stay near a wall (bats tend to fly higher near walls and lower in the center of the room);
  • Close interior doors, but give the bat a way to get outside;
  • If it doesn’t exit on its own, wait until it lands to try and catch it;
  • Find your thickest leather or work gloves. If not available grab a blanket (not a towel);
  • The bat will eventually land someplace it can hang, like a curtain rod, clothes rack, or in your houseplants;
  • Once the bat lands, try to place a plastic tub or similar container over the animal. Then slide a piece of cardboard under the container (like you do with a spider when trying to impress your vegetarian date);
  • Take the bat outside;
  • Allow the bat to climb a tree trunk or other verticle surface, it likely can’t take flight from the ground;
  • Finally, contact your local animal control agency for help in getting the bat tested for rabies in case it bit anybody.



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A bat in the basement tests Utah governor’s “fight or flight” reflex