A shopping trip to Walmart got a bit “batty” for some customers, when a group of winged invaders recently swooped down on the meat department.
Customer Jerry Lattermann posted a video, featured below, showing shoppers remaining calm as a group of bats flew along the aisles of the store on Monday, bobbing and weaving close to the cool temperatures of the refrigerated section.
According to Lattermann, he saw the bats at around 6:30 p.m. in the Walmart located on N. Bypass 35 at Highway 6.
“At first we thought they were birds and then my wife said that they were bats. We thought it was pretty entertaining,” Lattermann said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “Nobody was freaking out and they were not attacking anyone. I didn’t see them landing on any one, they were just flying around in circles. Most of the people were smiling and enjoying the show.”
While the video shows just a few bats, Lattermann estimated he saw 20 bats in total.
According to witnesses, this isn’t the first time bats have been spotted at the Alvin Walmart.
“It definitely makes shopping for your produce interesting,” shopper Christy White said in an interview with KPRC.
While everyone reportedly escaped the incident unbitten, some customers said they are unhappy about the flying intruders.
“They need to get them out of there,” shopper Tim Bentley said an in interview with KPRC. “I don’t know if it’s safe to have people in there. I don’t know what they should do, but they should maybe get everybody out while they get control of the bats.”
Experts say bat colonies in the Houston area are still suffering after being hit hard by Harvey; as Rare previously reported, flood waters displaced many bats, forcing them to find other places to roost.
Although bats are usually harmless, some Houston-area bats, including, according to researchers, those flying in unusual or bright places, could be infected with rabies, so people should take precautions if they are encountered, like several area Houstonians did throughout 2017.
What’s more, bat bites may be so small as to go undetected for a few days or weeks – coincidentally, and dangerously, the same incubation period the rabies virus needs to affect humans.
Walmart released a statement regarding the incident, assuring the public they are on top of the issue:
“We are aware of the situation at our Alvin, TX store and are working with our service provider to ensure safe removal of the bats.”
Another day, another crazy time at Walmart!