A couple rang the RSPCA to rescue a bat from a block of flats – after initially thinking someone was playing a Halloween trick on them!
The tiny pipistrelle bat gave the couple a fright when they spotted him in the corridor leading to their flat in Harris House, in Himalayan Way, Watford. They opened a window but the bat winged its way into a light shade on the wall – where he stayed put.
Concerned for the bat’s welfare, they contacted the RSPCA. Animal Collection Officer Kate Wright attended and found that the only way to get him out was to scoop him up with a spoon!
Kate said: “The bat really scared the couple at first and they thought that someone was playing a Halloween trick on them! But it would seem that the bat may have just found his way into the corridor and couldn’t find his way out.
“Instead of going out of window which had been opened for him, he flew into a light shade attached to the wall and he wouldn’t come out.
“I had to stand on a chair to have a look, and there he was lying underneath the bulb but thankfully not too near to it.
“It’s very lucky they saw him go in there as he wouldn’t have been able to get back outside otherwise, and nobody would know he was there.
“I borrowed a spoon from the couple to gently scoop him out, as there was no other way to reach him.”
After being safely removed from the light shade, Kate checked him over and saw that he wasn’t injured.
“I took him outside and released him,” said Kate. “He flew a circle around me before flying away, which I’d like to think was his way of saying ‘thank you’.”
In the UK there are a total of 18 different types of bats. Common pipistrelle bats are the most often encountered species of bat and typically measure between 35mm-45mm with wing spans of up to 235mm. Common pipistrelles can weigh up to about 8.5g.
They feed on a range of small flies as well as aquatic midges and mosquitoes. These bats feed in a wide range of habitats ranging from woodland, hedgerows and grassland to farmland and suburban and urban areas. They generally leave their roost around 20 minutes after sunset and fly around searching for their insect prey and during this time can eat 3,000 tiny insects in one night.
If you see a bat in need contact the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999. For more information, see our “Living with bats” factsheet on our website.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.