In an update to the story we brought you last September, grey long-eared bat Merri – and her new friend Gandalf – have now been released back into the wild!
Tiny Merri weighed just 5g when she was rescued by the RSPCA last year and has been cared for at our West Hatch Wildlife Centre by bat expert India Long.
India says: “Grey long-eared bats are among the rarest bats in England. I was so excited to take Merri in and help her, and then we were contacted about another grey long-eared bat, a young male called Gandalf, who needed help and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to introduce the pair and prepare them for release together.”
They were paired and spent the winter in RSPCA care before being moved into an outside flight cage to get used to the temperature, get fit and learn how to hunt and use the bat boxes.
Then, on 20 April they were taken back to Somerset where Merri had been found, and were released back into the wild.
India adds: “We hope we have given these bats the best chance of a life in the wild – it was an honour to help rehabilitate them and it was an incredible experience to release them!”