Nile Bat Buddies Hang Out at Budapest Zoo
April 12, 2013
The Budapest Zoo has had this species of Nile Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) for over twenty years. These fruit-eating bats form large colonies in which there is regular breeding. They mate generally from June to September, and after a four month gestation, one bat is born -or a rare set of twins - around October to December. It takes just a few months to wean them. As a result of the zoo'slarge colony, there are babies and sometimes a pup or two may need special assistance from the staff. Just recently two baby bats were in need of extra care. They were nursed through the stage of learning to eat solid food successfully and have now been happily feeding on the fruits offered and "hangin'" out together!
Unlike most fruit bats, Egyptian bats use echolocation: when flying in darkness they utter high-pitched buzzing and listen to its echo off of nearby objects. They use this echo to located and identify objects.
Also known as the Egyptian Bat, The Nile is one of the most well-known of fruit-eating bats. They are found in the wild not only along the Nile but in many parts of Africa, Asia Minor and the Middle East. Males are larger than females. They grow up to 7 inches in adulthood, weighing up to 6 ounces. An interesting fact: the Nile Bat is mentioned in the oldest written records - heiroglyphics - and again were described by French scholar, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844) in the wake of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign.
Photo Credit: Budapest Zoo