A flying visitor gave Carlisle hospital staff a shock - and prompted a rescue operation.

A Cumberland Infirmary staff member discovered the tiny creature flapping around inside a storage cupboard.

It turned out to be a pipistrelle bat, which had become lost.

It happened on the hospital's Elm ward late on Sunday night.

Unsure what to do, staff called the RSPCA for help.

RSPCA Inspector Sam Morris came out the following morning to catch the bat.

She said: “Staff had locked the bat in as they were terrified of him!

"He was tiny so I suspect he was a youngster who’d got trapped in the storage room after finding his way into the hospital.

“When I went inside he was hanging upside down off of the red emergency cord.

“The room was used to store hospital furniture so I had to clamber over hospital beds and stacks of chairs to get to him but easily captured him.”

Inspector Morris checked the little bat over but he wasn’t injured or sick.

“Thankfully the little bat was fine - just a little lost!” she added.

“I was able to take him away and then released him at dusk on Easter Monday. It was lovely to see him flitting away.”

If you see a bat in need of help please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.