Maui News

Hibernating Bat Hitches Ride on Shipment from Korea

January 11, 2011, 6:15 AM HST
* Updated January 11, 11:40 AM
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By Wendy Osher

A small bat that hitched a ride on a shipment of radishes and turnips sent from Korea to Oahu was found at a produce storage facility in Pearl City.

A live bat was found in an agricultural shipment from Korea to Hawaii. Click to enlarge. Courtesy image.

A bat that hitched a ride on a shipment to Hawaii tested negative for rabies. Click to enlarge. Courtesy image.

Workers found the bat on Thursday, January 6th, but the refrigerated container had been at the facility for 30 days.

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The small brown bat was alive, but was euthanized because of concerns it could be carrying the rabies virus.  Tissue samples were taken to the State laboratory for testing, but turned up negative for the virus.

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The bat had a wingspan of about seven inches.  The exact species is unknown.

Officials suspect that the bat went into hibernation in the refrigerated container.  Bats are found occasionally in shipping containers, but most are found dead.

Illegal and invasive species reports should be made to the state’s Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

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