A tiny London zoo bat named ‘Olympic’ flew away 2,018 kilometers throughout Europe, between the United Kingdom and Russia, completing one of the longest journeys ever known for an animal of this species. However, when the animal ‘landed’ on the other side of the continent, it fell into the claws of a cat, who did not hesitate to label it an exotic lunch.
The UK Bat Conservation Trust ad this Thursday the tragic end of the small mammal and said that it was found by a resident of the Russian village of Molguino, in the Pskov region.
Svetlana Lapina found the bat injured on the ground and handed it over to the Russian rehabilitation service for this species of animals, but the animal did not survive its fatal encounter with the feline. Lapina also noticed that the animal wore a ring on its leg that identified it as a resident of London Zoo.
‘Olímpico’, which with its last flight broke all records among its British congeners, belonged to the species ‘Pipistrellus nathusii’, was the size of a thumb human and weighed only eight grams.
“This is an extraordinary journey and the longest we know of a bat from Britain across Europe,” said Lisa Worledge, head of conservation services at the Foundation for the Conservation of Bats.
Now bat experts from both Russia and the UK are collaborating to learn more about the ‘Olympic’ odyssey. The expansion of the range of the bats ‘Pipistrellus nathusii’ is linked to climate change and researchers are gathering information to better understand their impact on animals.