BATTY – STRAW-COLOURED FRUIT BAT
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Hatch Year: 2005
Arrival to WBS: 2006
Reason for Residence: born in captivity
Batty was born to the Milwaukee County Zoo’s large fruit bat colony. When Batty and his brother Scar were a little over a year old, they were transferred to World Bird Sanctuary for education. In their younger years these bats traveled with Naturalists to do outreach programs, however with their old age they have long since retired. Of the two, Batty is more on the timid side, and happily allows Scar to charge ahead to investigate any new and potentially scary objects or people. Once things have been vetted by Scar though, Batty is happy to come up and investigate for himself. Batty can be found with his roommate Scar at the Nature Center, usually cuddled close in a corner napping during the day. They wake up for the evening, usually around 4pm since that is meal time. If their food is even 5 minutes late, Batty and Scar will alert the staff by “screeching” until they have been fed. They’re favorite treats are definitely grapes and bananas, and they will happily take them from the staff’s hands.
SPECIES: STRAW-COLOURED FRUIT BAT
CONSERVATION STATUS: NEAR THREATENED
Although Straw-colored fruit bats are abundant and commonly found throughout their range, populations in some areas are affected by adverse factors. Thus, Straw-colored fruit bats in West and Central Africa face large-scale hunting for food. In other areas, these animals are hunted for medical use. Localized threats also include persecution and hunting as pests.
Scientific 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
Weight: 8-12.25 oz.
Habitat: forests and savannas; elevation up to 6500 feet above sea level
Range: ranges from southwestern Arabian peninsula, forest and savanna zones of Africa (south of Sahara) and to the offshore islands of Africa
Behavior: Straw-colored fruit bats are a highly social species, forming extremely large groups known as colonies. A single colony of these bats may contain from thousands to as much as millions of individuals. Active during twilight (crepuscular), but more diurnal (day active) in winter.
Diet: maintain frugivorous diet, particularly favoring dates, baobab flowers, mangoes, papaws, avocado pears, figs, passion fruit, custard apples and loquats.
– Straw-coloured Fruit Bats make the world’s largest mammal migration, with up to 10 million bats congregating together in Kasanka National Park!
– Straw-colored fruit bats are vital pollinators of certain flowers throughout their range. Due to their diet, these bats also act as seed dispersers, which they do through their feces. Overall, these animals are irreplaceable in sustaining their rainforest habitat,
– Straw-colored fruit bats don’t use sonar to perceive their environment.
– Each individual of this species has its own unique scent and call. This allows mothers to find their young in large colonies of millions of individuals.