Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 09:17 UK

Mystery over bat found in house

Leisler's bat. Image: Mick Canham
The bat is being fed meal worms to help it gain weight

A rare bat has been found hundreds of miles from previously known populations in south west Scotland, conservations have said.

A woman discovered the Leisler's bat in her home near Nairn in the Highlands.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) said the species was usually found around the Cree Valley in Dumfries and Galloway.

The female bat, which should be in hibernation, is being fed meal worms to help it gain weight.

The favourite habitat of the Leisler's bat is woodlands, where they shelter under loose bark on trees.

It is larger than bats more commonly found around Nairn, such as pipistrelle and Daubenton's.

Cool place

The woman who found the bat contacted the BCT, and it was taken in by local bat worker Mick Canham.

He said: "It is now back with the lady who found it and she is keeping it in a cool place where it can rest and feeding it meal worms.

"The bat is female and she could already be pregnant as bats mate in autumn."

The bat will be released later in the spring.

Mr Canham plans to seek out more Leisler's using a bat detector in an attempt to confirm whether there is a colony in the north of Scotland.

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