Mom claims daughter was exposed to dead bats at Morristown learn

Mom claims daughter was exposed to dead bats at Morristown learning center

Posted:
The Rose Center was built in 1892, and many people say the history is part of its charm. The Rose Center was built in 1892, and many people say the history is part of its charm.
Betsy Stibler says her 6-year-old daughter Emma Kate picked up the bat thinking it was a toy. Betsy Stibler says her 6-year-old daughter Emma Kate picked up the bat thinking it was a toy.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - An historical building in Morristown is coming under fire after a parent says her children were exposed to dead bats inside the building.

The Rose Center is a popular destination for families, but Betsy Stibler says she does not think her children are safe there anymore.

The Rose Center was built in 1892, and many people say the history is part of its charm. However, Stibler says the old building is full of bats and that her daughter picked up a dead one that was laying near children's toys.

"She held it in the palm of her little baby hand," said Stibler.

Stibler brings her two young children to the Rose Center to learn and play, but last Tuesday she says they got more than they bargained for.

"My daughter was in the children's touch museum which is a museum for children to touch and explore different exhibits and picked up a bat in her hand," she said.

She says her 6-year-old daughter Emma Kate picked up the bat thinking it was a toy.

"She was very sorry and once she realized it wasn't a toy, she predictably was terrified that she had touched an actual bat," she said.


Stibler called the health department and says she was told her daughter would need a series of precautionary rabies vaccinations.

She says she also saw a bat on the wall in another classroom her son was in and does not think Rose Center officials are doing what they should to keep the building safe, telling her if they see any dead bats they pick them up and throw them out.

"What I hope is that this beautiful building we all enjoy as a community rids itself of bats so it can actually be used safely," she said.

6 News talked to officials at the Rose Center Monday. They could not make a statement at that time.


Health department officials say they are aware of the issues and are sending environmental specialists to examine the building.

Health department officials say they recommend rabies vaccinations for anyone who may have come in contact with an animal that could be carrying rabies.

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