Ghost bats move into Sydney Wildlife World for Halloween

November 1st, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Nov 1 (ANI): A colony of ghost bats, born at Featherdale Wildlife Park near Blacktown, has moved into Sydney Wildlife World at Darling Harbour for Halloween.

The carers for the four one-year-old bats were worried that they may not adapt to their new surroundings, but they put their fears aside after the male bats took to the specially renovated nocturnal enclosure with gusto.

A part of the Wildlife Worlds sanctuary for nocturnal exhibits had to be renovated to include a specialised cave that is warmer, darker and more humid.

And now staffs are hoping to get some female ghost bats from other zoos as part of a nationwide breeding program.

They have settled in well, quoted mammal keeper Kate Blount as saying.

We were worried whether we”d be able to see them; whether they”d hide in the back corner but they”ve been active all day flying around. We can hear their little chirps through the glass. Everyone who has seen them has been wowed, she said.

The Australian ghost bats got their name from the white fur on their undersides, which make them ghostly when hunting at night, and they are also known for their big ears and the thin membrane of their wings.

The bats fall under the endangered species list, and there are only about 5000 left in the wild.

At approximately 11cm, they are the biggest microbat in Australia, but are still a third of the size of the fruit bats common to Sydney, and are usually found in North Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

But their habitat has shrunk because of tourists visiting their caves, mining and other animals such as foxes and cats eating their food sources frogs and small mammals. (ANI)

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