Currently we have 4 Egyptian Fruit Bats. They are all males and get along quite well. We also have 2 African Straw-colored Bats, one male and one female.
Our Egyptian Fruit Bats came to us in October of 2010 through a USDA licensed organization. They are all males, 2 of them were born in late 2009 and the other two may have been born in 2005. Their life expectancy is about 30 years in the wild, but in captivity it is usually less.
We have given them Egyptian names: Tut, Ramses, Imhotep, and Azizi. The first two names are of Egyptian Pharaohs, Imhotep was a chancellor to the Pharaoh and the name Azizi means precious.
In August of 2012 we acquired two African Straw-Colored Fruit Bats. The female was born in 2011, and the male was born April 7th, 2012. We are very excited to add these bats to our presentations. With care and training they should become wonderful educational animals. Since they are unrelated, we will be able to let them breed, but that won't be for a couple of years when they are both more mature.
Since all of our bats are fruit bats, it makes food preparation a bit easier. Every night they are given a delicious fruit salad that may include bananas, mangoes, cantaloupe, apples, pears, grapes, and papaya. Vitamins and minerals are supplied through a delicious liquid nectar that they are given several times a week and we also give them canned ZuPreem primate diet. Although they do not need any vaccinations, they do have regular visits with our veterinarian.
Can anyone own bats and have them as pets?
Native species of bats cannot be captured, sold or traded. Most are protected by state and federal laws. Some are on the Federal Endangered Species List. There is a danger with native species of contracting rabies, although, less than ½ of 1 percent of bats actually contract rabies. Only persons with a rabies vaccination should ever attempt to handle a native species, and this should only be done to remove an unwanted bat from a residence, or other areas where they come into contact with pets or people. The only bats that can be kept by private individuals in the United States are non-native species acquired through legitimate licensed animal traders. Each animal that is acquired must have a transfer of ownership that would show where they originated from. Violations of this would result in the forfeiture of the animals.
Before acquiring any exotic animal, know the housing requirements and all of the costs involved. Fruit bats require large flight cages, a diet that is more than just fruit, special lighting, a stimulating environment, temperature needs that include proper humidity levels, and specialized veterinarian care. Acquiring fruit bats is extremely difficult as most captive colonies are associated with zoos, bat organizations and bat educators.
Bat Image Gallery
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Egyptian Fruit Bats
These bats are among the smallest of the mega bats and belong to a sub-order of Old World fruit bats. Their scientific name is Rousettus Aegyptiacus.
Their body length ranges from 110 -130 mm (about 4 to 5 inches). Their forearm length measures from 65 - 103 mm (3 inches) The length of their tail is about 14 mm (less than 1/2 an inch). Their total wingspan measures from 30-45 cm (about 1 ½ feet). Their average weight is 81-171 grams (4 to 6 ounces).
There are ten species of Egyptian fruit bats that occur in a variety of habitats from valleys to mountainous areas where they find shelter in ancient tombs, temples, rock crevices, garden trees, and most commonly in caves.
Egyptian Fruit Bats are able to roost in these types of places because they have the ability to emit a low level echolocation call. The rousettus bat is the only old world fruit bat that can echolocate.
African Straw-Colored Fruit Bats
Out of all the African megabats, these bats are the most widely distributed. They are commonly found throughout the southwestern Arabian Peninsula, to the forest and savanna zones of Africa, and to the island of Madagascar.
Straw-Colored Fruit Bats weigh an average of 8 to 12 oz (230 to 340 g). They can grow 5.7 to 9 inches (14 to 23 cm) in length, with a wing span up to 30 inches (76 cm). The males generally are larger than females when fully mature. The cheeks of the bat are pretty large, and are like pouches. These social animals will live in groups of over 100,000 to one million.
At night the bats will break into small groups when leaving the colony to find food. These bats find food by using their keen sight and smell.
Straw-Colored Fruit Bats can also pollinate flowers and will deficate during flight, which disperses seeds through the forests. These creatures are mainly responsible for the seed dispersal for the increasingly rare African Teak tree.