The Washington Post

There are literally bats flying around the Vermont Statehouse, and no one seems to mind


In this Oct. 23, 2009, photo, a bat rests on a walkway outside the Vermont Statehouse, from which it had been removed, in Montpelier, Vt. Bats have become a common sight in the Statehouse, especially during the summer of 2014, while a renovation is prompting them to fly through the building. (Dale F. Manning/Vermont Capitol Police via AP)

Every summer, the bats come out at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier.

“We had one in here last week,” said Dale Manning, a Vermont Capitol Police officer. “It ended up in the Senate chamber. After about five minutes, it flew out on its own.”

The bats live in the 155-year-old building’s dome, which is closed  to the public. It can get warm up there in the summer, Manning said, leading the bats to seek the cooler temperatures in the rest of the building. “We see them quite often.”

Statehouse staff sometime remove the bats if they’re easy to reach, but usually, doors and windows are just left open to let the bats leave on their own.

“It’s really not much of a nuisance,” Manning said.

He wasn’t sure when the bats first showed up, but believes they’ve been here since the building was built in 1833, and said there’s no plans to get rid of them. “I think they’re here to stay.”

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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