Thursday, October 15, 2015

Indian Flying Fox: Fearless Exploring

By Dibyendu Ash [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the largest of Bats, Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus) has a wingspan of more than a child's height. During her flight, She extends her legs outward to expand the span of her wings. A strong swimmer, Indian Flying Fox crosses rivers using her wings as flippers.

Less feared than other types of Bats, Indian Flying Fox eats only fruit. Her favorite is very soft bananas which She swallows whole.  However, with mangoes, She extracts the juice and spits out the seeds. Indian Flying Fox is an important pollinator in the tropics, and a major dispenser of seeds. In certain parts of India, She is regarded as sacred.

Unfortunately for Her, her desire for fruit has led Indian Flying Fox in conflict with people. Because She causes extensive damage to fruit orchards, many farmers consider Indian Flying Fox to be a pest. Governments in South Asia have instituted kill programs to stop Her, since they consider Indian Flying Fox to be “vermin.”

Found throughout South Asia and the Maldives, Indian Flying Fox prefers living near large areas of water. She is often found in tropical forests and swamps. Once, She settles into a suitable place, Indian Flying Fox makes it her permanent Camp. (Groups of Flying Foxes are called “camps.”) Because of her strong flying abilities, Indian Flying Fox colonized many islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Many species of Flying Foxes found on these islands can be traced to her.

Indian Flying Fox flies long distances at night to search for her food. Some of her travels have led her to distant lands. She is fearless in what She does knowing that She can navigate anywhere. A dauntless explorer, Indian Flying Fox travels to islands near and far. Traversing over vast stretches of ocean, She is unafraid of never reaching land. Indian Flying Fox is confident in her navigation skills. Because of her self-assuredness, She has become the mother of many island species. Take wing and fly. Just be care not to be a pest.

Wisdom of Indian Flying Fox:
Having Adventures
Learning Not to be a Pest  

Note: Indian Flying Fox is also known as Greater Indian Fruit Bat.

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