Contact nature experts when dealing with bats snagged on fishing lines
Local volunteers from the Bat Conservation Trust are offering fishermen advice on what to do if they accidently hook a bat.
Daubenton’s bats are a common sight to fishermen in the east Perthshire area, often skimming the surface of local rivers and lochs.
But they can sometimes get hooked accidently by fishermen, or snared by abandoned fishing lines.
And Bat Conservation Trust volunteer bat carers in the area have urged local fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts who may come across injured bats not to leave bats that have been accidentally hooked to die but instead try to‘land’the bat on the shore.
According to volunteer bat carer Jean Oudney, they may be able to free themselves from the line.
But if they haven’t done so within two to three minutes, the advice is to cut the line close to the fly in order to free the creature.
Experts also advise against touching bats with bare hands as a small proportion of the mammals in the UK carry a type of rabies virus, which can be transmitted through a bite or scratch or thBrouullgehtcGornetactt bei twoefehneitasdsaliva and an open wound or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.
If handling a bat - alive or dead cannot be avoided, protective gloves should be worn.
Alternatively , the bat can be wrapped carefully in a cloth, covering the head and mouth area in particular.
Anyone who thinks they may have been bitten or scratched by a bat, should wash the wound immediately and thoroughly, preferably with soap and water and without scrubbing, and speak to their doctor as soon as possible as effective post-exposure vaccination is available.
Contain the bat in a box with small air holes and the cloth and contact the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228.
They have a list of local volunteer bat carers who will come out and take care of the bat free of charge.
Even if the bat is dead, please still contact the helpline as the body can be sent off for rabies surveillance testing.
In flight A brown long-eared bat