Bat found in car in Hartlepool after 500-mile journey
A bat was found hiding in the boot of a car which had made a 500-mile journey from France to a north-east England car showroom.
The stowaway pipistrelle was discovered when the red Vauxhall Grandland X was opened by sales staff in Hartlepool.
It was collected by RSPCA officer Shane Lynn, who used to work at the showroom.
Once the bat is strong enough, it will be released into the wild as pipistrelles are a common breed in the UK.
"Staff had quite the fright," said Mr Lynn.
"Luckily, despite his adventure, the bat didn't seem to be too worse for wear."
Mr Lynn took the bat, which appeared lethargic, to a local vet for a check-up and reported the find to the Bat Conservation Trust.
He said: "This little one is now with a bat carer and will be released back into the wild once he's strong and healthy enough.
"Pipistrelle bats are common in the UK so we can release him here and he should join a local colony and do well."
It is not known when or how the bat got into the car.