Our rarest mammal lives on its own, with no known relatives this side of the Channel. Did the greater moused-eared bat stray here from France? And is it time we invited over some company?
In a dank, disused railway tunnel in West Sussex hangs a brown, furry parcel, the sole known representative of Britain’s rarest mammal. Scientists don’t like to apply emotive adjectives to animals, but if ever there were a lonesome creature, it would be this greater mouse-eared bat.
The bat’s reappearance in December for its 20th winter has astounded its guardians, because of the animal’s great age, but also because it was missing, assumed dead, for nearly two years.