Pipistrelle badly hurt in cat attack, and a bit about bats.
A badly injured male pipistrelle weighing the same as a 20p coin was rushed by the finder to our Queensbury location for assessment after being mauled by a cat on Tuesday. Sadly the damage sustained was too great and the most humane action was to put him to sleep.
Cats are a particular problem to bats, and can cause the most horrific injuries as seen in the above picture (this picture doesn't show the worst of the injuries sustained but in the interest of not being too graphic we haven't included it, but can be requested). Cats can locate the entrance of a roost with their super senses and are agile enough to ambush the bats as they leave on an evening and again when they return at dawn.
This pattern of behaviour is ideal for the cats hunting strategy, but you can help to avoid these types of incidents by considering the following:
Keeping your cat in at these times (dawn and dusk) or all night, as cats hunting activity can be at its peak during the night-time hours.
Keeping your cat well fed, particularly prior to it being let out, it's unlikely then to have the same determination and drive as a hungry cat.
Also, if you have a roost, please adopt measures to stop any predators being able to sit within striking distance to a roost entrance.
Some facts about our common pipistrelle:
We have 18 species of bat in the UK, 17 of which are known to breed here, and the pipistrelle is our most common bat species, only weighing 3-8grammes.
This tiny nocturnal mammal is a night-time creature and is usually seen leaving and entering it's roost at dusk and dawn in the summer months, the 'Pip' as known locally, does slow down, and hibernate during the colder months.
It is an insectivorous mammal and can eat in excess of 3000 flying insects per night using its super power of echolocation. This is the use of sound waves to pin point it's quarry, much like a ship's underwater sonar device. As a result it has evolved to live in a world where its' sight isn't it's primary sense because this amazing little animal 'sees' and negotiates it's environment in sound waves rather than colour and light as we do through our eyesight.
Picking up a grounded bat safely
If you do need to pick up a bat from the ground wear gloves (because of the very small risk of rabies), contain it in a small box or similar and put a tea towel or other soft object in for it to hide under. Then contact a rescue as soon as possible.
If you have any bat-related issues please visit the Bat Conservation Trust
Bats and the Law
Bats and the law. In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation. This means you may be committing a criminal offence if you: ... Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats.