pipisterllus bat

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Bat receives library card after finding its way into English museum

This bat flew into the right museum.


David Britton

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 26, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 6:16 pm CDT

All things considered, the day could have gone much worse for the tiny bat that found its way into the rare book section of the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) in Reading, England.

Most of us, upon finding a bat in our home or place of employment, would just do our best to get rid of the flying rodent. Sure, many people will try and avoid killing a bat, but being gentle is not a top priority when compared to things like avoiding rabies and stopping your children from freaking out.

But they do things a little differently at MERL. Instead of shooing the injured bat out with a broom or trying to catch it with a towel, the little beast was identified (turns out is was a Nathusius’ pipistrelle, a fairly rare sighting in the United Kingdom) rehabilitated, named and given a library card. Not bad considering is how his day started out.

Luckily for us, MERL documented the whole ordeal on the museum’s official Twitter account.

And yes, the bat really did receive its own library card.

Obviously, people found this story to be deeply heartwarming.

You might remember MERL as the museum that tweeted about the “absolute unit” of a sheep they found in their archives back in April of 2018.

The tweet and the thread that followed received a lot of attention at the time, and MERL even briefly changed its name to MERU, which stood for the Museum of English Rural Units.

It’s clear that MERL employs a lot of animal lovers. While the museum made a big deal over a massive sheep, they paid every bit as much an attention to a tiny bat who was barely a unit at all. That’s exactly the kind of museum, and humans, we need more of.



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*First Published: Feb 26, 2019, 1:15 pm CST