A tiny but mighty bat that flew 1,200 miles across Europe to break a migration record tragically ended up dead after being attacked by a house cat.
It’s been hailed by scientists as one of the greatest ever known. A female Nathusius’ Pipistrelle bat, weighing just around 8 grams (.28 ounces), barely as big as a human thumb, flew 1,254 miles from London to Russia.
‘Olympian’ bat smashes British record for long distance migration! A tiny bat has been nicknamed the ‘Olympic bat’ by scientists after she beat all known British records and flew 2,018 km across Europe – one of the greatest ever known flights by a bat: https://t.co/cySmylD5P4 pic.twitter.com/6svMLdKibj— Bat Conservation Trust (@_BCT_) August 6, 2021
The bat was discovered in the small Russian village of Molgino by resident Svetlana Lapina and was given to a bat rehabilitation group but succumbed to injuries inflicted by the cat.
The bat had ‘London Zoo’ written on its wing when it was found. An indication that it was tagged in 2016 in west London by bat recorder Brian Briggs.
A testament that the bat made its way from London to Russia in a thousand-mile migration flight. The journey marks the longest known bat travels globally and the longest distance recorded from west to east.
Bat scientists in both the U.K. and Russia are studying the flight pattern of the diseased bat and its link to climate change and how it correlates to the species’ future survival.
“What an Olympian! This is the longest journey we know of any bat from Britain across Europe,” Lisa Worledge of the Bat Conservation Trust said.