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An odd sort of Sunday afternoon: An expedition with a bat - Ed's journal
An odd sort of Sunday afternoon: An expedition with a bat
A couple of weekends ago, on a bit of a quiet afternoon, we took a bat in a box for a ride in the car. A had spotted a post on a facebook group from the Vale Wildlife hospital, that ... they'd had a report of bat that needed rescuing, and they were really busy. (They basically always are).
With my vast experience of bats (e.g. none at all) and being at a vague loose end, we volunteered to go be bat-taxi. Slightly concerned that - as a protected species - handling them was a 'no-no' we were re-assured that it was in a box.

Off we went to a hotel in south gloucestershire, to fetch said bat. It's a rather pretty place, and I trundled into reception to declare 'I'm here about the bat'. I was treated to a stroll "below stairs" - an odd split, as the luxurious plush carpets and rich furnishings gave ways to white washed walls and slightly battered lino. And there was the bat - in it's 'box'.

... which when I though of a box, I though 'with a lid' but it turns out their definition was more like a flimsy cardboard tray. (I can only assume they hadn't worked out that y'know, bats can fly).

When asked 'so what species was it' I had to ad-lib slightly, and point out that bats really weren't my field. (Implying perhaps I had any clue whatsoever about ... well, any form of wildlife at all). (At the hospital, they were happy to tell me that it was a pipistrel).

So upon getting back to the car, there had to be a hasty bit of tissue box vandalism, just to ensure the bat wouldn't, in fact, be 'exploring' the bat-taxi. Thinking about it - it'd probably be less of a problem than a bird, because at least bat can 'see' the windscreen. But even so.

A had it on her lap in the front seat, holding the 'tissue box' type lid, and off we went. A few miles down the road, we realised that the combination of 'dark' + 'airconditioning' might be ... well, a bit like 'night time' and the bat was starting to wake up and wriggle. But with the wriggling, the cunning plan was to press on, and hope it didn't get out.

A little further on, the bat had found the edge of the box, and was trying to squeeze out, and A could feel it tickling her hand as it wriggled.

We got to the hospital without further incident - only to find that the wriggling had been the bat finding somewhere cozy and warm to hide - Almost in the palm of A's hand.
We weren't entirely sure if the aforementioned 'no handling' law really applied to bats coming to sit on you, but thought they might be tolerant of the fact that it was for the purposes of getting it to the wildlife hospital.

Said pipistrel was admitted overnight, fed and watered, and was to be examined by a specialist in the morning - with an aim of recovery, then release - there wasn't any signs it was any more 'ill' than 'got lost and stuck in a hotel room'.
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