As a warning, some people may find this video disturbing as it does show the bat getting struck with a hockey stick. Multiple times.
You've been warned.
Predictably, the folks at PETA are not pleased:
"This might have been an annoyance but it was also a living being," said Tori Perry, the Emergency Response Manager of Cruelty Investigations for PETA. "If you have an animal that's somewhere he's not supposed to be, you call animal control. It's not just something where you just go, 'Oh , we'll take some hockey sticks to him.'"But the team says it had health concerns to consider:
Meanwhile, PETA counters by stating that the incidence of rabies in bats is estimated to be less than 0.5 percent."Definitely never seen something like that," said Gamblers goalie Steve Summerhays. "That bat was behind me and I was trying to watch the play. I'd rather see a guy coming at me than a bat cruising behind my neck."
"This has obviously turned into Batgate," said coach John Cooper. "But the rabies fear was a big one."
This reminds of an encounter I had when I was covering high school basketball in rural southwestern Pennsylvania two years ago. It was a playoff game, and late in the second half a bat found its way into the gym and buzzed the crowd and players. As people ducked for cover and attempted to cover their faces, the school decided to open every door and window in the gym, hoping that the confused beast would find its way back to the great outdoors.
One eventually found its way out after 20 minutes, the other did not.