Last month, an employee at the Camas Public Library in Portugal was arranging books when she stumbled upon someone sleeping in a quiet corner of the historical nonfiction department.
It’s not unusual to see someone snooze curled up with a good book, but finding a little brown bat fast asleep was a first for her.
“The librarian didn’t want to disturb her and, in an effort to make sure it was really a bat sleeping on a bookshelf, decided to share the news with her colleague,” library director Connie Urquhart told The Dodo website.
Urquhart called the local animal welfare agency and officer Bryan Caine arrived on the scene 15 minutes later. “He was very calm and relaxed about the situation, even allowing us to take a quick photo of the bat with Brian Lies’ Bats in the Library,” Urquhart said. “Then Officer Caine carefully moved the mouse into the box and quickly closed the lid.”
How the bat got into the library to take a nap is still a mystery. In some libraries in Portugal, bats are even welcome, eating pests that would otherwise feed on old manuscripts.
However, the Camas Public Library did not need the services of a pest exterminator, and he was released back into the wild, in the nearby Steigerwald Lake National Nature Reserve.
For library staff, this visit was not unique. Forest animals were often seen around the suburban establishment. For example, squirrels ran into the history room, bats flew into bookshelves, early morning visits from deer, cats, rabbits and many others awaiting their discovery. The library is open to everyone, we are always happy to share knowledge with everyone who comes to visit.
“We live in a strange and wonderful little town at the same time,” Urquhart said.