Batty – Straw-coloured Fruit Bat
Received: September 6, 2006
Batty and his brother, Scar, were given to World Bird Sanctuary by the Milwaukee County Zoo on September 6, 2006 when they were 2 years old. During their time at the zoo, they were not handled except for check-ups. Within a month, with the help of their favorite foods such as bananas and grapes, we were able to pick Batty and Scar up with bare hands. Today, they do not hesitate to climb their handlers and are often found hanging out on a WBS Naturalist underneath a jacket or shirt. Batty, however, seems to find underarms the coziest place to be.
Batty has attended many programs and is always a hit. People are amazed when Batty comes out of his cage and climbs all over the Naturalist in search of a warm spot in which to snuggle. He is a bit more reserved than his brother, but does a great job of dispelling negative myths about these amazing creatures.
Species: Straw-coloured Fruit Bat
Latin Name: Eidolon helvum
Description: Reddish-brown to yellowish-brown fur; color of the wings are black; males generally more bright orange in contrast to the female which are usually pale and somewhat tawny; huge cheeks, eyes and ears; modified body for flying; have powerful claws; the thumb is used for crawling, handing and manipulating objects
Sex: females usually larger in size; sexually mature at 2 years
Age: 15 years in the wild; more than 20 in captivity
Wingspan: up to 30″
Weight: 8-12.25 oz.
Habitat: forests and savannas; elevation up to 6500 feet above sea level
Status: IUCN Red List – Near threatened
Range: ranges from southwestern Arabian peninsula, forest and savanna zones of Africa (south of Sahara) and to the offshore islands of Africa
Behavior: active during twilight (crepuscular), but more diurnal (day active) in winter; live in colonies of several hundred, but during migration numbers may climb to one million, gestation period is 9 months; usually just one offspring, which can weight up to 1.75 ounces at birth
Diet: in the wild usually eats flowers, bark, leaves and fruits; in captivity usually fed bat mix, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes and cataloupe
- This bat is the main agent of seed dispersal for the rare African tree Milicia excelsa.
- In some parts of Asia the bat is considered to be a sign of good luck.