NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First it was the “pizza rat,” now it’s the “commuter bat.”
Somehow, a bat made its way onto a subway over the weekend, startling the people inside. One straphanger recorded the incident on his cellphone, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Wednesday.
For the bat, the local train just may not have been fast enough. As seen on the clip, the winged creature looks to take flight and flee before it even reaches the next stop.
“That’s crazy. I would have been scared,” said Milly Montanez of Spanish Harlem.
“It’s probably better than a rat on the subway,” added Jerry Tingstad of the Upper East Side.
On Sunday afternoon, passengers on an F train heading to Brooklyn were in for a surprise. What’s believed to be an Eastern red bat somehow got on the train and was spotted by the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street Station.
“It’s weird, but you’re filled with weird stuff in New York every single day of your life here,” Williamsburg’s Ben Scheim said.
The crowd was clearly unnerved by the winged intruder.
“Then I saw this thing go right kind of close to my face and then it fell down like a piece of paper and I looked and it was a little tiny brown thing,” Queens resident Jonathan Christoper said.
Christoper is the one who recorded it on his cellphone. He said he thought the train would have to stop in order to get the bat out.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s going to happen now?’” he said.
But he said passengers quickly shooed the bat out of the subway car to safety, with no injuries. Bats feed almost exclusively on insects.
“Bats biting humans, that’s incredibly rare,” said Danielle Gustafson, co-founder of the New York City Bat Group.
Gustafson’s organization promotes the study of bats in urban areas.
Though it’s common to see bats in New York City parks, she said she couldn’t figure out how the creature got on the subway.
“The bat that was seen was actually a tree-roosting bat. It doesn’t use caves and I can’t explain what it was doing on the subway. Unless maybe it was on a cart, and someone rolled it onto the subway,” Gustafson said.
And that bat probably didn’t even use a MetroCard.
CBS2 reached out to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about the incident, but didn’t immediately hear back.