• sarahlyne

What To Do If You Find A Bat

If you find a bat, and you think it may be injured, here is some advice on what to do. . .

Step 1: Don't Panic.

Unfortunately, bats are unfairly given a bad reputation of being vermin or try to fly into your hair or try to suck your blood! People are afraid that bats will hurt them when in reality the opposite is far more likely.

Bats are very small and delicate. They can easily be injured or killed accidentally. It is very unlikely that a bat will cause you harm so it is important to remain calm.

Step 2: Do Not Touch!

If the bat is on the ground and not moving, the important thing to remember is do not pick up the bat. Although bats are very unlikely to harm you, there is a small risk of rabies when handling bats.

Pop a clean tea towel and a box (a shoe box with airholes would be ideal) over the bat and slide a piece of card underneath - like you would trap a spider stuck in the bath. This is so the bat doesn’t escape before it can be collected by the bat carer. We need to make sure the bat is fit and healthy before it can be released.

Also, add a bottle cap with a few drops of water in the box for the bat to drink, as it may be dehydrated.

If the bat is in immediate danger, it may be necessary for you to pick up the bat and place it somewhere safe. If you need to pick up the bat, you must wear gloves, then place the bat in a box with air holes and a soft, clean tea towel inside. Place a bottle cap with some water in there too.

You can also use a tea towel to carefully scoop the bat up if you do not have gloves.

When handling bats you must take extra care to not accidentally damage their very delicate wings.

Place the box with the bat somewhere dark and quiet, away from children, pets and loud noises.

If the bat is stuck or tangled on a bit of prickly vegetation or sticky flypaper, then it is very important you do not try to remove it. Leave it to the bat carer to deal with.

If the bat is flying around in your house then do not try to catch it. Close all the doors and windows to keep the bat contained in one room. The bat will get tired and land somewhere, so keep an eye on it! Once landed, you can place the bat into a box for safety, or just leave it to the bat carer to catch.

Step 3: Call the Bat Conservation Trust National Bat Helpline

Now it’s time to call the Bat Conservation Trust on 0345 1300 228 for further advice and details on your local bat carer.

Your local bat carer may be able to come to you to collect the bat. Alternatively, you may be able to take the bat to the carer.

If you can’t get in contact with your local bat carer (i.e., it may be out of hours), then take the bat to your local vet. Make sure the vet staff note down your address and where the bat was found.

The photo below is of Sarah's two bat enclosures. On the right, two common pipistrelles are housed and the one on the left will soon be ready to take injured bats.

Step 4: Provide Information

It’s important for the carer to know as much as possible about the bat so that they can properly care for the bat. Information the carer needs to know includes:

1. Were you bitten?

2. Where was the bat found?

3. Was the bat moving when you found it?

4. Have you noticed any injuries?

5. Are there any more bats? If there is one bat there could be more.

6. Your contact details - the carer may need further information.

For more information on what to do if you find a bat, please click the link here.

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