A wild bat has been put to sleep by the RSPCA after being found with a fishing hook impaled through its face at Branston Golf and Country Club.

The animal was been identified as a daubentons bat and was found at the club, in Burton Road, Branston on Wednesday, August 23.

A member of the public contacted the RSPCA after finding the animal dangling on a fishing line from a tree.

An RSPCA officer went out and collected the animal and took it to the centre at Stapeley Grange, in Nantwich, Cheshire.

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After being examined, it was found that the hook had impaled through the bat’s cheek, gone through its tongue and exited through the other side of his face.

The injuries were judged to be so severe that he was put to sleep to stop him from experiencing any further suffering.

Lee Stewart, who is the manager of the RSPCA wildlife centre in Nantwich has called for more care to be taken when anglers dispose of their goods after the sad death of the animal.

Mr Stewart said: "It is likely that he got this embedded in his face after possibly swooping for a maggot that may have been attached to the hook. I imagine he would have suffered terribly and would have been in a great deal of pain.

"Frustratingly, this could have been so easily avoided if the fishing litter had been disposed of correctly. Sadly we see all too many incidents of wildlife suffering because of discarded hooks and fishing line.

"Most anglers do make an effort to retrieve and take home their fishing line and tackle but some are not so careful, which result in incidents like this.

"We urge people to think twice and to dispose of them correctly, as hooks and lines can cause horrific injuries to wildlife. With a little more thought and care, an animal’s life could be saved."

On the back of the death, which the RSPCA believes is avoidable, they have issued an appeal for anglers to pay special attention when disposing of their goods to stop further animals from suffering a similar fate.

A representative from the RSPCA has provided tips on how to dispose of fishing equipment safely: "Take unwanted fishing line home and cut it into pieces before putting it in the bin. Be aware of surrounding trees as discarded line caught in foliage causes problems with wildlife.

"Don't leave bait unattended, always remove it from the hook and put it in a safe place, always use a bait box and dispose of any litter you see, even if it's not your own."

Further information about disposing fishing equipment correctly can be found here

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