4.4.4 Extraction from mist-nets This can be a difficult and time-consuming operation, which requires patience, skill and training. However, any bat which cannot be removed in about 2 minutes should be cut free with a quickunpik or scissors. When doing this, be most careful to ensure that no netting remains embedded in the furor in the bat’s mouth. First, ascertain the direction from which the bat entered the net (see Figure 4.9 for general guidance) and start from that side. If the bat is above normal working height, lower the net to bring the bat within reach and open the pocket so as to expose it. The extraction of a bat must follow in reverse the stages by which it became entangled. Wearing suitable gloves, clear the netting away from the feet this will require gentle teasing of the net from the toes by a stroking movement of one’s fingers. Gently raise the bat by its legs, which should now be free, and slowly work the net down and away from the body of the bat. Wings need to be extracted one at a time and each wing may need to be partly opened to remove the netting. When one wing is clear, firmly hold the bat by the forearm, allowing its feet to grip the fingers of one’s hand. Finally, check that the net is not caught in the teeth. Occasionally, bats maybe so badly entangled that they cannot be freed quickly. In these situations the net should be cut free, using scissors or a sharp quickunpik (available from BTO), before the bat begins to show signs of distress. Badly holed nets should be destroyed safely, as they entangle animals too easily. Always check nets carefully when they are being dismantled just in case a bat has been caught and not noticed.