Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Pipistrelle bat found down and out in Bugibba

Whilst out walking in the cold sunny weather in Bugibba, a British tourist from Devon came across a pipistrelle bat lying on the pavement. It isn’t normal for a bat to be found on the ground, in daylight. The tourist, Mr Andrew Bessford, picked up the bat, put it in a warm piece of cloth and took it with him to his hotel. With the help of the receptionist at the hotel Mr Bessford found out about International Animal Rescue in Malta and travelled all the way from Bugibba to our centre in Hamrun to bring us the bat.

Luckily the bat is in good condition. We’ll keep it under observation for a few days and then release it in an area where we know there are similar species. Bats are nocturnal and the chances are that someone disturbed this bat in his daytime habitat. If it wasn’t for Mr Bessford the bat would certainly have died, mainly owing to the lack of food in the area and also as a result of the weather.

Mr J J Borg, Chairperson of the Malta Bats Society, says that the small species of bats - of which we have four in Malta - appear to be stable in number, although bats in general are still threatened. According to Mr Borg some hunters still shoot these mammals in the Girgenti and Lunzjata Valley. A problem which is also threatening these bats is the restoration of bastions, chapels found in rural churches and other old buildings.

I would like to personally thank Mr Bessford for bringing the bat to us and also for rescuing and reporting a baby rabbit he also found whilst out walking. If any tourists find animals in need whilst in Malta or spot any illegal wildlife activity we ask that they call our 24 hour emergency helpline on +356 (0) 994 71212.