The RSPCA was called to rescue an unexpected visitor at Hertfordshire County Council’s offices – a tiny bat who had become trapped in a stairwell.

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The animal welfare charity received the call on Thursday (8 September) from a member of staff at the council building in Pegs Lane, to report the stranded pipistrelle bat which was unable to get out due to a lack of windows.

When RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Kate Wright arrived, she found the bat – who was only a few centimetres long – 15ft above her, completely still on the ceiling of the stairwell.

ACO Wright said: “There was no obvious way that he had got in as there were no open windows nearby, so we can only assume that the bat must have gotten in through a loose ceiling tile. It was quite a surprise to anyone who was using the stairs!

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“Being so small, he was very delicate but I managed to gently scoop him up using a net and check him over. Once outside I intended to let him climb up a tree but as soon as we were in the fresh air he took flight straightaway. The council staff were pleased to hear that their nocturnal visitor had been safely released.

“We are grateful to have been contacted about the bat as he could have become stressed out or have gotten into further trouble had he been left.”

Pipistrelle bats are the most common species of British bats. They generally grow no bigger than around five centimetres, with a wingspan of 25 centimetres and are often found roosting in lofts. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal – except under licence – to harm or disturb roosting sites of bats in England and Wales.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)