Staff at a Vauxhall showroom got the surprise of their lives when they found a bat in the boot of a car!
The pipistrelle popped up when the Grandland X – similar to the one pictured above – was delivered to Drive Vauxhall in Hartlepool.
At first, it was thought that Bernie – as he was quickly christened by his carers – had hitched a lift from France, where the Grandland X is made, but it later transpired that he may have got into the compact crossover SUV at Vauxhall’s compound in Kent or climbed in while the transporter had stopped en route to Hartlepool..
Bernie was checked over by a vet then taken into care by Bat Conservation Trust volunteer Gwynevere Kipling, who looked after him for two months before being able to return him to the wild.
She said: ‘Bernie wasn’t in bad shape considering he’d been in a car boot for some time. He had no injuries but seemed reluctant to fly. We believe this is because he’d been in a confined space.
‘We gave him warmth, food, water and plenty of space as well as regular exercise and eventually he built up his strength and gained in confidence flying again.
‘Once he was cleared for release we took him to a spot nearby where there is a local community of bats and plenty of resources available for them to give him the best chance.’
Adam Grogan, head of the RSPCA’s wildlife team, said: ‘It’s wonderful to see Bernie fit, healthy and back in the wild where he belongs.
‘We’d like to thank Gwyn and her team at Durham Bat Group for their commitment to helping these wonderful creatures.’
Neither Drive Vauxhall Hartlepool nor Vauxhall itself would give a comment when asked by Car Dealer.