Thumb-Sized Bat Breaks a World Record, Gets Killed by House Cat

by Megan Molseed

A thumb-size bat made some great strides before meeting an untimely demise at the hands of a hungry house cat.

The unlucky flying mammal was fresh off a record-breaking journey traveling over 1,200 miles to Russia from the U.K.

The female thumb-sized creature was a member of the Nathusius’ pipistrelle family. The super flyer weighed just under 0.3 ounces – or about eight grams. She was found injured in Western Russia near the village of Molgino shortly after her flight. Unfortunately, her injuries were far too great and the animal passed away not long afterward. A statement by the UK’s Bat Conservation Trust, the animal was more than likely injured by a cat.

A Tiny Bat Makes Olympic-Sized Journey

The tiny flying creature is nicknamed the “Olympic bat.” She earned the moniker after completing one of the greatest flights known to be completed by a bat. In total, the tiny record-breaker completed a journey of 1,254 miles before meeting her demise.

When the tiny animal was found injured after the magnificent journey, it was discovered that she had been “ringed” or “tagged” with a label reading “London Zoo.”

The tiny bat had been tagged at Bedfont Lakes Country Park in London by a bat recorder in 2016.

This bat was traveling west to east. However, the majority of past recordings have been bats traveling south to west from Latvia. Also, most of the previously recorded flights have been those of male Nathusius pipistrelle.

Her Legacy Will Help Guide Science

While the remarkable creature suffered a tragic fate after making Nathusius pipistrelle history, her legacy is one that will remain on the books for some time. Experts following the harrowing and tragic story have dubbed her the “Olympic Bat” because her story is one of greatness. Not only has she conquered an amazing feat, but she has also helped scientists understand a little more about her species.

“What an Olympian!” declared the Head of Bat Conservation Trust Services, Lisa Worledge.

“This is a remarkable journey and the longest one we know of any bat from Britain across Europe,” the expert continued. Worledge added that this remarkable journey will help conservationists to better understand bat migration.

“The movements of Nathusius pipistrelles around the UK and between the UK and the continent remain largely mysterious,” Worledge explained. “This journey is an exciting scientific finding and another piece in the puzzle of bat migration.”

The only record to top this little one’s journey is one by a Nathusius pipistrelle. This little animal made a journey from Latvia to Spain in 2019. This tiny creature completed a journey of just over 1,380 miles.