Banana Face Bat

ViralHogPublished: September 7, 2015Updated: April 5, 201647 views
Published: September 7, 2015Updated: April 5, 2016

From our licensor:"Tonto is an adult male grey headed flying fox, a species Federally listed as Vulnerable to extinction.

Tonto was an orphan grey headed flying fox (fruit bat) who hand raised by a wildlife carer from Gosford, north of Sydney. At 14 weeks old he joined a baby bat crèche with other hand raised bats and was released to the wild from Gosford in February 1997.

As flying foxes are nomadic, they can fly up to 50kms a night in search of food, and the colonies move 1000's of kilometers over the year as they follow flowering native trees. Flying foxes are the major pollinators of Australia's hardwood forests.

Three weeks ago, an injured flying fox was seen hanging low on the side of the aviary from which he was released 18 years earlier. His wrist was burnt and massively swollen, possibly caused by touching high power electricity wires. The bat allowed himself to be captured and was transported to a Sydney veterinary clinic specialising in treating native wildlife. The bat was wearing a metal band with a unique sequential number, that identified him as Tonto.

After vet assessment, Tonto home was taken to the home of the vet nurses (me) where he was given antibiotics and pain relief. He watched as I prepared the nightly bat fruit salad. When the banana was chopped it became too much for him to resist and sidled up to the side of the cage and extended his arm to be fed a slice of banana.

Despite being a wild bat living free for 18 years, Tonto remembered the ease of being handed slices of banana and reveled in the taste.

Thankfully for Tonto his wings were not permanently damaged and with luck, he should be released back into the wild again within the next few weeks.

A truly remarkable bat, confirming the intelligence and capacity to remember a place where humans helped him."

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