Shocked staff at posh clothing chain Joules find a BAT hiding in store 

They’re rarely seen during the daytime and if they are spotted, it’s likely to be in a forest or somewhere remote.

So staff at upmarket clothes shop Joules were understandably stunned when they found a bat wandering around their store.

The barbastelle bat – a rare breed – was found underneath a clothes rail having hidden itself in the sleeve of a coat at the high street store in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

The bats, which can live for up to 23 years, weigh between six and 13 grams and are distinctive because of their upturned pug-like noses

Staff member Naomi Young, who found it, told the BBC: ‘I’d just brought some coats down from the stock room and it was in with them.

‘It scared the living daylights out of me. I thought it was a kid’s toy, moving around.’

The bat was taken to a local vet but died hours later. Following its death, the bat was sent to the Natural History Museum and is the first to have been added to its collection in 20 years. 

Staff at the museum have named it Joules in homage to where it was found.

Steph West, from the museum, said: ‘It’s only the 12th specimen of this species from the UK since our first specimen in 1879.’

The bats, which can live for up to 23 years, weigh between six and 13 grams and are distinctive because of their upturned pug-like noses.

Its name is derived from the Latin for ‘star beard’, referring to the white tips on the bat’s fur. 

The Wildlife Trust estimates there are only about 5,000 barbastelle bats left in the UK and the species is classified as ‘near threatened’. 

They live in a variety of habitats and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Staff at upmarket clothes shop Joules were understandably stunned when they found a bat wandering around their store. The barbastelle bat – a rare breed – was found underneath a clothes rail

Staff at upmarket clothes shop Joules were understandably stunned when they found a bat wandering around their store. The barbastelle bat – a rare breed – was found underneath a clothes rail

Staff at upmarket clothes shop Joules were understandably stunned when they found a bat wandering around their store. The barbastelle bat – a rare breed – was found underneath a clothes rail

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