A tiny baby Livingstone’s fruit bat has been born here at Bristol Zoo Gardens – helping to safeguard the future of this Critically Endangered species.
It was born to mum Ariadne and is only about four inches long but it is fit and healthy.
The birth of this fruit bat is critical as there are now fewer than 1,300 Livingstone’s fruit bats left in the wild. In captivity there are just 67 precious individuals of which 10 are at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
Al Toyne, mammals’ team leader at Bristol Zoo, said: “Every birth of a Livingstone’s fruit bat is really important and helps to sustain this species.
“Ariadne is a confident and experienced mum and both she and the baby bat are doing well.”
Al said for the first three months the tiny bat will be carried around by its mum. She will then park the pup and it will be at least six months before it makes any attempt to fly.
Livingstone’s fruit bats are found in the wild on the Comoro Islands in the Western Indian Ocean, north-west of Madagascar.
In recent years, more than 45 per cent of the Comoro Islands have been taken over and turned into agricultural land, depriving the bats of their natural habitat.
The resulting reduction in fruit bat population size is also affecting the forest ecosystem in the Comoros, as fruit bats are important seed dispersers.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the Zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.
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