Text and photos by Mandy and Neil Tomas.
We have only been doing bat care for 5 years, but in that time we have been privileged to meet over 300 bats, some more memorable than others. The journey is a vertical learning curve, but we are lucky to have Tina Wiffen and Hazel Makepeace guiding us along the way as we still feel we are beginners.
We will try to do a fairly regular blog about the bats we have and have had in care, to post online through the winter.
So to begin, the first bat must be “Rex” as he is the king of bats. Rex is a Noctule Nyctalus noctula who was found by a friend in their house after an evening storm. We think that he had ‘snuck’ in via an open Velux window. Luckily for us, his finder was going away that morning, so we took him in to our care.
On careful inspection, Rex was found to have a few holes in one wing, possibly inflicted by the cat that was in the house at the time; however the cat looked more terrified than he did! So who knows for sure if the cat inflicted the holes, but he still needed antibiotics just in case the holes were inflicted by the cat.
Because Rex needed a course of antibiotics, this meant we got to keep him for a whole week, which was very special. His forearm measured 51.5mm and he weighed 30.2g, therefore he was at the top of the measurements for our largest bat and he was in full breeding condition.
He was also the most gentle, friendly bat – mind we still wore our leather gloves with him – although he didn’t try to bite once, and was fed his mealworms by plastic forceps.