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Rare bat spotted hanging around at The Perse School

A rare bat never recorded before in Cambridge has been spotted hanging around at The Perse School.

The barbastelle, which is a protected species, was found by pupils in the entrance to the North Building on the Upper School site in Hills Road.

The barbastelle bat found at The Perse School. Picture: Barbara York, Cambridgeshire Bat Group
The barbastelle bat found at The Perse School. Picture: Barbara York, Cambridgeshire Bat Group

It was very dehydrated but volunteers from Cambridgeshire Bat Group collected it 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.”

The Wildlife Trust says barbastelle bats are fast, agile fliers that forage over a variety of habitats. They mate in autumn, hibernate over the winter, and give birth to a single pup in summer.

They have long, silky fur that is blackish-brown in colour, but with white tips, rounded ears that meet on their forehead, and a pug-like nose.

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.”

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