Libatty West

Libatty West, a furry brown bat the size of an egg, was safely removed Wednesday morning when he was found sleeping in Library West. Libatty's origins are unknown. 

Its origins are mysterious. So is its gender.

We know how it left, but we don’t know how it got there.

We do know it likes sleeping in libraries. So much so, it’s named after one: Libatty West.

Misty Colson, an executive assistant for the UF Dean of Libraries office, was walking through a hallway to get to her office for the day when she stumbled upon a small, furry brown bat taking a snooze in a vent by the restrooms on the fifth floor of Library West at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

“You don't normally come into work and see a bat hanging from the ceiling,” she said. “But I was surprised in a good way, I thought it was cute.”

Libatty snoozin

Library West staff found a small bat taking an upside down snooze in the library.

Several months ago, a librarian made a donation to name a campus bat, and chose “Libatty West.” So, it only seemed natural for the staff to give that title to the overnight visitor, who was asleep for most the morning, said Sarah "Moxy" Moczygemba, the social media specialist for Library West.

“Libatty West,” about the size of an egg, was only awakened when the Environmental Health and Safety team safely removed him by about 10 a.m.

“We were joking that it was Libatty West,” Moczygemba said. “Because when you look at the certificate, it says you have the power to point to any bat from the bat house and call it by whatever name you choose.”

As an animal lover, Colson said she wasn’t scared of the bat, but did worry for its safety.

Library West staff, including Colson, had been in a similar situation before when a young hawk got stuck on a window ledge, so she knew to call UF Environmental Health and Safety when she met Libatty.

“I love animals, so I was worried about the emotional health of the bat,” Colson said.

Libatty is thought to have been from the UF Bat Houses, but his origins are not completely known. But after his sleepover at the library, he will have a safe home with other bats.

Kelly Hayes is a journalism and political science junior at the University of Florida. Before becoming a staff writer at The Alligator, she wrote as a contributor, and also as the marketing intern for The Florida Museum of Natural History.