Just Plain Batty
by Ted L Glines
Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of my family. His name is Binky, and he is a bat. Binky is a fruit bat who was rescued from an abusive zoo here in America. Binky's natural habitat is in Asia and Oceania, much of mid- and south-Africa, and the islands east of Africa. Zoos import and cage these creatures for the ($$$) entertainment of tourists. Abuse and injury is common in such circumstances. Luckily, Binky was rescued by the good people at Bat World Sanctuary, here in Texas. And I have adopted him.
Binky is not the kind of tiny bat you may have seen flitting at dusk, darting here and there, catching flying insects. Binky is a fruit bat and he is large. More correctly, Binky is a sub-Saharan straw-colored flying fox (very popular with the zoo-crowd). The banana Binky is eating will give you an idea about his size. Binky's body is about like that of a medium-sized cat. He may weigh 1 to 3 pounds with a wing-span of three to five feet. I have seen one photo of a flying fox hugging his handler, and it was a wrap-around embrace.
The folks at Bat World Sanctuary had this to say, "When Binky arrived he was very, very shy. He peeked out from behind large ferns that hung from the cage ceiling, barely venturing out to explore the flight area. Despite his shyness, Binky almost immediately bonded with one of our larger, slightly overweight flying-foxes named Brutus. The pair have become inseparable, even sharing a hammock by day. As soon as morning hits the two snuggle in for a long days sleep; bulky Brutus on the bottom, wee Binky on top." In this case, "wee" is strictly comparitive. (~http://www.batworld.org/adopt_a_bat/binky.html)
I think I love Binky, and he is a very welcome member of my family.
Wendy, my dear sister, recently adopted Cleobatra, shown above. She is so cute! I guess we are a batty family.