Taronga’s surrogate bat mum, Tegan, has discovered her orphaned Grey-headed Flying Fox, Duruga, has a favourite fruit.
The Flying Fox, whose Aboriginal name means Falling Star, goes mad for mango.
Tegan found out as she started to wean Duruga by introducing fruit to the Flying Fox’s diet.
“She’s not that keen on apple or even banana, but this bat just loves mango,” she said.
During an afternoon feeding session, Duruga clambered down Tegan’s arm to reach a mango cheek she was holding, burying its furry face in the bright yellow flesh of the fruit.
Duruga tore big pieces of mango free and soon had specks of mango everywhere.
When Duruga is weaned in a couple of weeks, flight training will begin in earnest so the little Flying Fox can graduate to a Bat Finishing School before being returned to the wild in February.
Tegan said one of the great dangers for Flying Foxes in urban areas is the loose netting used by householders to protect fruit trees.
She said: “It’s OK if the netting is stretched tightly over a frame. The bats just bounce off but if it’s loose, they become entangled and may die.”
- Zoo Communications