The Johannesburg Zoo celebrates the only flying mammal in October, the Bat!

Throughout October, Johannesburg Zoo will highlight the role bats play in an urban environment. The zoo will host a number of exciting events including talks, displays, bat viewing evenings and a Bat conservation walk. These events in partnership with local non- profit organizations such as the Bat Interest Group of Gauteng, FreeMe and EcoSolutions will focus on urban bat species and conservation. Bat Talks will take place over weekends to give zoo visitors something interesting to do while visiting. On the evening of the 13th there will be a bat talk and viewing where guests will get a rare glimpse of the new Seba Bat enclosure in the zoo’s unfinished Temple of the Ancients. This will be an ideal venue to give public an up close view of bats.

On the 30th the zoo will host a Bat conservation walk which will raise funds to help maintain our three bat boxes. These boxes are man-made houses built specifically to encourage bats back into urban environments. These boxes are monitored regularly by the Bat Interest Group of Gauteng who hold bat monitoring evenings where members catch, release and record the different species of bats residing at the zoo. Urban species commonly found in the zoo include the Cape Serotine Bat and the Egyptian Free tailed bat.

The zoo has embarked on this month long campaign to help dispel the myths around bats. For centuries bats of all shapes and sizes have gained a bad reputation through stereotypes stemming from vampire stories to cultural myths. Many people fear bats because of how they are depicted in movies such as Dracula. The truth is bats are amazing order of animals and as the only flying mammals, they play an important role in the environment, for example eating mosquitoes, seed dispersal and pollination of plants and trees.

For more details contact Candice on 011 646 2000 ext.260 or email Visit our website for information and follow us on Facebook for some fascinating bat facts throughout the month.

Prepared Candice Segal and issued by Letta Madlala Brand and Communications Manager on behalf of the Johannesburg Zoo. END.

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