Rare bat discovered in Cambridge at The Perse School
A rare bat has been discovered in the grounds of The Perse School, Cambridge.
The bat, known as a barbastelle, is a protected species and has never before been spotted in the city.
Earlier this week, the elusive bat was discovered by a group of pupils while it was hanging in the entrance to the North Building on the Upper School site in Hills Road.
The pupils were pleased to discover that it was alive, even though it was very dehydrated.
Volunteers from Cambridgeshire Bat Group collected the bat and nursed it back to full health. Group member Chris Percival said: “It was a very special day when I discovered that the bat was one of the rare barbastelle species. My volunteer friend and Chair of our group, Barbara York, spent time nursing it and helping it to rehydrate.
“It was such a surprise because barbastelle bats are usually found in ancient woodland and very mature trees. They’ve been seen in Hertfordshire, but we have not seen one in Cambridgeshire before now.
“We were so pleased to see the bat make a full recovery as it was very dehydrated when it was found, and it was wonderful to release it back into the wild outside the school on Luard Road in the early evening.”
According to The Wildlife Trust, barbastelle bats forage over a variety of habitats and are fast and agile fliers. They mate in autumn, hibernate over the winter, and give birth to a single pup in summer. The barbastelle has long and silky fur that is blackish-brown in colour, but with white tips. They have rounded ears that meet on the forehead, and a short, upturned nose, giving it a pug-like appearance.
Perse School Bursar Alison Shakespeare said: “We are really pleased that this very rare species of bat chose our school, with it’s wonderful grounds, to make its home for a short time. We are grateful that Cambridgeshire Bat Group were able to look after it and release it back into the wild, providing a wonderful outcome to this heart-warming rescue story.”