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KILGORE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An East Texas emergency room has been closed after bats began to spread through the building.

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In a statement posted Tuesday night on the Kilgore Police Department social media pages, Good Shepherd Medical Center said “a number of small bats” had moved into the Longview-based hospital’s free-standing emergency room in nearby Kilgore.

The bats had moved into the building’s walls and ceilings, with some migrating into the area that receives ambulances.

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Officials with Good Shepherd said they were working with the City of Kilgore, which owns the building, and Allegiance Specialty Hospital, with manages it, to get the bats removed.

In the meantime, Good Shepherd had decided that it was in the best interest of patients and staff to suspend emergency medical services in the building until the bats are removed.

It was just last year when Texas, 3o other states and 10 Canadian provinces began participating in a study to better understand the ecological role that bats play, and the threats they face from climate change, habitat loss and wind energy development.

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