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To the Batmobile! Stowaway bat hides in car from France to Hartlepool

"Poppy Disher" (2020-08-19)

No matter what the make and model -

A stowaway bat survived a 500-mile journey from France to Hartlepool to give staff a fright at a car showroom. 

Car salesman had a shock when the the 10cm bat hiding in the boot of a red Vauxhall Grandland X, which had been manufactured in France, before travelling across the English Channel and on towards the North East.  

Ian Maddison was working when the bat was discovered at Drive Vauxhall showroom last Wednesday, he said: 'When I saw it, it was perched where the tailgate meets the actual boot.

I don't know how it wasn't squashed. 

The stowaway bat was discovered by shocked car salesmen at Drive Vauxhall in Hartlepool last Wednesday

'I don't know if it was able to move around in there before.

My colleague who found it rung the RSPCA straight away.'

RSPCA animal collection officer Shane Lynn - who used to work at the dealership - was sent back to his former workplace to collect the little stowaway pipistrelle last Wednesday. 

He said: 'The bat - around 10cm big - was found when the car arrived at the showroom and staff had quite the fright!

Luckily, despite his adventure, he didn't seem to be too worse for wear.'

Staff managed to contain the stowaway in a cardboard box until it could be taken away.

The bat is a pipistrelle, which are common in the UK, so it can be released back into the wild without crossing The Channel again


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Shocked sales staff couldn't believe the small bat wasn't squashed during its trip to England

Mr Lynn took the bat, who seemed a little lethargic, to a local vet for a check-up and reported the find to the Bat Conservation Trust. 

He added: 'When you work with animals you never quite know what will happen next - and we do get some batty calls to help animals in strange situations.

'But it's always really rewarding when we can help an animal in need and ensure they're safe and well.

The bat was discovered in the boot of a red Vaxuhall Grandland X, which had arrived from France

'This little one is now with a bat carer and will be released back into the wild once he's strong and healthy enough.

Pipistrelle bats are common in the UK so we can release him here and he should join a local colony and do well.'

The Bat Conservation Trust was able to refer the bat to one of its 300 carers across, where it can be rehabilitated and hopefully released into the wild.