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Some of the cubs will be left to live in the zoo, and some will be prepared and released into their natural habitat.

IN Moscow Zooreplenishment occurred in two species of bats. The Nile fruit bats (also called Egyptian flying dogs) acquired two cubs, and four more babies were born to bats: three to two-colored kozhanov, one to red noctresses.

“This is a real baby boom of bats. Zoologists conducted an initial examination and made sure that all six babies are healthy. Most of the babies are still close to their mothers and feed on milk, and also slowly learn to fly. One two-tone leather very quickly grew stronger and became independent, our specialists have already released it, ”said Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo.

Dog noses and echolocation flights

The metropolitan zoo is home to one of the oldest captive Nile fruit bat colonies. The first representatives of this species were brought to Moscow from the Rotterdam Zoo in 1998. Krylanov settled on the territory of the “Night World” exposition. Since in nature these animals live in groups, they were allocated one spacious aviary. Today the colony of Nile fruit bats at the Moscow Zoo numbers more than 20 individuals. Zoologists managed to create comfortable conditions for Egyptian flying dogs and regularly get offspring from them.

The family has recently been replenished with two females. Experts regularly weigh them and measure their forearm length – in this way they monitor the growth and development of babies. They now weigh about 30 grams. For almost another month, the cubs will cling to their mothers and feed on their milk. Then mothers will go for food, and leave the little fruit bats alone. When they return, they can easily find the kids by their voices.

In nature, the Nile fruit bats can be found in the tropics and subtropics of the Eastern Hemisphere. Their habitat extends from Turkey and Cyprus to Pakistan, as well as over most of the African continent along the Nile River Delta (hence the first name of the species – Nile fruit bats) and near the Sahara Desert.

They are much larger than bats. Their body length is about 15 centimeters, and their weight varies from 90 to 160 grams. Nile fruit bats are covered with brown hair, the belly has a lighter color. Another distinctive feature is an elongated muzzle, reminiscent of a dog or a fox (that’s why the animals got their second name – Egyptian flying dogs).

Nile fruit bats are nocturnal animals. They settle in tree hollows or abandoned buildings, but most often they settle in caves. They are perfectly oriented in the dark, have a keen ear. These are the only fruit bats that, like bats, are capable of echolocation. Moving around the cave, they can recognize ultrasonic signals reflected from various surfaces and other animals.

The Egyptian Flying Dog’s diet is based on a variety of fruits such as figs, oranges, dates and bananas. In search of food, wild fruit bats can fly up to 40 kilometers. At night, they often raid fruit plantations in tropical countries. In the morning they return to their homes and fall asleep in the upside-down position, wrapping themselves in their own wings.

Hibernation lovers

For bats, the Moscow Zoo has a bats rehabilitation center. It was created in 2017. Experts help bats living in the city to survive the cold season. The fact is that a bat can suffer or even die if it chooses a place that is not suitable for hibernation. Therefore, Muscovites can bring the found animals to the center. Zoologists examine each individual, feed the animals with mealworms and insects.

For the winter, bats are hibernated. They are placed in special boxes, which are placed in refrigeration chambers. Bats are in a state of suspended animation for four to seven months, most often waking up in April. After they gain strength, they are released into the wild. This usually happens in early May.

In summer, newborns who need milk feeding and pregnant females often get to the center. The task of the specialists of the capital’s zoo is to leave all the cubs and prepare them for an independent life. For this, the institution has adapted a special room where mice learn to fly. Before the release of bats, they ring, each is assigned a personal number – this helps scientists to monitor the population. If zoologists doubt that the animal will be able to find a new home and get food, the bat is left in the center for another year.

One male bicolor kozhan born this summer has already been released into its natural habitat. And two females of the same species and a male of the red nocturnal are still growing up in the center. They are planned to be released before the end of the summer. You can admire newborn fruit bats and bats by watching a short video on

According to zoologists, six species of bats live in Moscow: the water bat, two-colored leather, wood bat, Brandt’s bat, brown long-eared bat and red nocturnal bat. Their number is low – all species are listed in the Red Book of Moscow as rare and endangered.

Bats have a huge habitat. They are widespread everywhere, with the exception of the tundra, circumpolar regions and some oceanic islands. Most often, bats get lost in colonies of several dozen individuals, but there are also more numerous groups. One of the most gigantic is the Brazilian foldlip colony of 20 million individuals. Most bats feed on insects, but the larger bats are not averse to hunting frogs, toads, lizards, small birds and rodents.

The mass and appearance of the animals differs depending on the species. On average, their body length is six centimeters, and their weight is about 20 grams. The color of the coat can be brown or gray. The life span of both bats and Nile fruit bats is about 20 years.

Cubs of forest reindeer were born at the Moscow ZooA crown from nature: a chick of rare cranes hatched at the Moscow Zoo

This summer, the Moscow Zoo also hatched chick of black storks… The number of these graceful birds in the wild has been steadily declining year after year. The black stork is listed in the red books of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and other countries. Representatives of this species are very secretive and restless, but the ornithologists of the capital zoo managed to create such comfortable conditions for them that the birds bring offspring almost every year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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