2 Feb 2009

Batty tale met with scepticism

2:42 pm on 2 February 2009

Two Rotorua men say they have been attacked by bats, but their story is being met with scepticism by the Department of Conservation.

Rotorua taxi driver Ngaia Monaham said she picked up two shaken passengers early on Monday who told her they had been attacked by bats.

Ms Monaham said she thought it was a joke, until she saw their arms were covered in bite marks.

After driving the passengers home, she returned with a colleague to the area where she said they watched hundreds of bats flying from tree to tree.

Department of Conservation project manager at the Rotorua office Peter Corson said New Zealand bats tend to roost only in forests, and attacks on humans are unheard of.

He is not sure what may have happened, but said there are a large number of starlings in the area which may be flying around at night.