Bat Takes the Court at Pacers Game — and Potentially Exposes Fans to Rabies

A bat flew around the court during an Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Clippers basketball game last Thursday — and may have exposed the crowd to rabies.

According to a Saturday press release from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the bat was present in the Pacers’ home stadium, the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, during Thursday’s game.

The bat is no longer in the stadium, the ISDH said. Because it is missing, the rabies status of the animal is unknown and the crowd who was at the game may be at risk of the viral disease.

A rep for the Pacers also confirmed to PEOPLE that the bat is no longer present in the building, and offered no additional comment.

The ISDH emphasized that a person is only potentially exposed to rabies if there is direct contact between a bat and the person’s bare skin.

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No reports of anyone having this direct contact with the bat have been received so far, but the ISDH reminded anyone who may have touched the bat with their bare skin to call the health department at 317-234-4704 or contact their healthcare provider about getting the rabies vaccinations.

The ISDH also directed attendees of the game to the Centers for Disease Control’s webpage about rabies.

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The bat caused quite the commotion during the game, and fans immediately posted photos and videos of the animal flying around to social media.

“We are on a bat delay during the @Pacers game,” one user wrote. “A bat is in the house,” another captioned a video.

Regardless of the bat, the Pacers ended up beating the Clippers 116-92 on Thursday night.

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