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Woman finds bat sleeping in horse’s rug

A rider has advised other horse owners to be on the lookout for bats after finding one sleeping in her horse's rug.

Mary Bannister, who lives in Hertfordshire found the unexpected visitor when she was putting a rug on her 13-year-old Irish sports horse, Blue, when she discovered the bat.

“The rug had been sat folded up over the wall in an open barn. I put the rug on Blue and noticed a blob on it. I didn’t have my glasses on, but I looked closer and thought ‘Oh my god, it’s a bat’.

“I went to get some other people to look at it and three of us stood there thinking what do we do now? It was beautiful. It was about the size of a mouse hanging upside down. I think it must have been clung on the rug when I’ve put it on and somehow I hadn’t disturbed it.

“My friend moved the bat into a box and put the box up high up in the barn where no predators could get to it.”

Mary checked again in the morning to see how the bat was doing and it was gone, so it must have flown away.

People on Facebook sent Mary a lot of responses to her post about the bat. Bats tend to like warm spaces and a lot of other riders have also found bats in their horse's rugs too.

Mary has urged people to be on the lookout for bats and if you are to find one be very careful with them as they are an endangered species and it's illegal to harm them in any way.  

Samantha Pickering of North Devon Bat Care said “If you find a bat on a rug that is in use, you should use a cloth or a glove to gently move the bat to another location in the same building you have found it. Typically if you find a bat in a rug it’s usually a young bat that has gone into the wrong roosting place. Once a bat is asleep they sleep deeper than a teenager and don’t want to wake up, which is why if you move a blanket they don’t fly off straight away,”