Critically endangered fruit bat born in New York City
August 1, 2008
A critically endangered fruit bat was born last month at the Bronx Zoo.
The female Rodriguez fruit bat was born July 6 and has been named “Buffy” by staff Veterinarians at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Health Center.
Every two hours Buffy is fed a special milk replacement formula designed to duplicate the mother bat’s milk. She takes her “bottle” in an upside down position as she would if she were with her mother. The nipple was made by staff to mimic the size and shape of a mother bat.
Buffy the Rodriguez fruit bat. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Buffy is provided with a “comfort pillow” made from a cotton stocking. The pillow is warm and soft and has a “heart beat” device placed inside to simulate the beating of her mother’s heart.
Rodriguez bats have a wingspan of about 3 feet and are among the largest bats in the world. They are listed as critically endangered with only an estimated 5,000 individuals left in the wild. There are about 350 individuals in zoos world-wide.
Buffy will be taken back to the bat colony at WCS’s Bronx Zoo World of Darkness exhibit when she is able to feed on her own.