Egyptian fruit bat
Just the mere mention of bats can stir extreme negative emotions in most people. For centuries, bats were regarded as helpers of sorcerers, vampires and other evil spirits. This is why many do not quite understand the rapidly increasing popularity of the Egyptian fruit bat which is considered as a pet.
The Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) is a charming and interesting animal. These are primarily bats which belong to the order Chiroptera. The name Egyptian Fruit Bat (Egyptian Flying Dog, Egyptian Rousette) came from the bat’s dog-like appearance which may also be called flying dogs.
Just like bats, flying dogs spend most of their time in flight or hanging upside down. And usually to get a better perspective of the flying dog, you need to turn the picture upside down.
As mentioned, the popularity of the Egyptian Fruit Bat as pets is growing. One reason for the growing popularity of this animal is their cute appearance – their muzzles with big beady eyes will never leave anyone feeling indifferent. Fruit Bats are also easy to tame, sociable, will never leave any pet smell in your apartment, easily contented and are easy to feed. This animal also has one of the longest life spans (a healthy Egyptian Fruit Bat will live an average of about 20 years) making it one of the best and if not the perfect pets anyone could ever have.
In the wild, fruit bats live in a large area of sub-Saharan Africa which is roughly occupying territories from Cyprus to Turkey to as far as Pakistan. This animal live in hollow trees, abandoned buildings and in caves which are their favorite habitats; they live in huge colonies in as much as a thousand bats in a single colony which explains their highly developed social behaviour.
When treated as a pet, fruit bats will feel comfortable with you right away. However, these creatures are social animals and they need to communicate and interact with their own kind. The ideal option therefore is to have more than one fruit bat pet.
Egyptian Fruit Bat are small (adults are about 6 inches or 15 cm.) you may keep them in small cages provided they are allowed to walk around the room every once in a while. The ideal set up is to keep these bats in a spacious aviary where they can freely fly about. Flying dogs may not learn to like other pets like cats or rabbits, they may also be hard to train and may never become potty trained. These pets however may be trained to get out and come back inside their cage or aviary so they will not defecate near their dwelling.
Egyptian fruit bat are active at night just like other bat species and in the wild they can fly at night up to 20-25 miles (30-40 km.) in a search of food. These creatures eat fruit, fruit juice and nectar.
Feeding your fruit bat at home is very easy. These animals eat almost all types of juicy fruits especially bananas, oranges, figs, plums, grapes, pears, melons and so much more. And since fruit bats feed mostly on fruits, their feces tend to give off a distinct odor; this is why allowing them to defecate out of their cages is important.
Figs are the most favorite fruit of Flying Dogs but you can also feed them bananas. Feeding is done at night when the animals are mostly awake.
Nile fruit bats are known to use echolocation- they make sounds which are so high that are inaudible for humans to hear. Echolocation allows bats to easily fly in total darkness in caves and even at night avoiding trees in the dark. Other than this, Flying Dogs can also emit short cries that express how they feel.
Under normal conditions, baby egyptian rousette are born once a year. In captivity and in under perfect living conditions female Flying Dogs may even give birth to two offspring. Pregnancies last for 4 months and often times there is only one offspring.
Baby Egyptian Flying Dogs look like tiny balls hanging on their mother’s body; the baby’s paws clutch the mother’s fur while the mother covers her offspring with her soft wings. The female spends all her time with her baby and rarely leaves her offspring behind.
Small egyptian rousette have a high growth rate as they feed on their mother’s milk. In just a week, they double their birth weight with a body mass twice as heavy as the week before.
Fruit bats are known to be good mothers; they are known to care for their offspring even when they are all grown up. This is why you may often see females with a tiny baby along with her other offspring together. Adolescent fruit bats however become self-sufficient but still try to stay near their mothers along with their younger siblings.
Toddlers which are 2 to 3 weeks old usually begin to become interested in the world. They can be seen curiously peeking out from under the wings of their mothers as they survey the world around them.
It will be quite some time when the baby becomes too heavy to cling on their mother’s body .
Female egyptian fruit bats begin to leave their grown children to look for food. In the wild, young fruit bats hang upside down along cave walls to patiently wait for their mother’s return so they can be fed. It is a surprise as well that mothers are able to accurately locate their baby among thousands of bats that are located in one area.
Young fruit bat begin to learn to fly at the same time they begin to learn to eat fruit which usually happened at 3 months.
Although egyptian fruit bats are successfully bred in many zoos all around the world, they are still considered poorly understood animals. With the growing popularity of fruit bats giving birth to more pets, owners and researchers are able to collect valuable information about their behaviour.
It won’t be too long when egyptian rousette will become familiar pets just like hamsters and guinea pigs.
Take a look at movie about egyptian fruit bat, in which you’ll see how baby-dog tries to hide under the mother’s wing.
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