Just in time for Halloween ...
Miller Park Zoo puts bats on exhibit
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BLOOMINGTON -- Miller Park Zoo
recently put a collection of about 69 Seba's short-tailed bats on
exhibit in the Katthoefer Animal Building, marking the first time
the zoo has exhibited bats since 2002.
Weighing barely more than half an ounce, Seba's short-tailed bats
are small, gregarious, leaf-nosed bats. During the day, they roost
together in colonies of 10 to 100, usually in caves or hollow trees.
They congregate in two types of roosting groups: harems, made up of
one male and many females; and bachelor groups, made up of adult and
sub-adult males not attached to harems. About 20 percent of adult
males defend harems, while the other 80 percent are in bachelor
groups. All of the bats on exhibit at Miller Park Zoo are male.
These bats are fruit eaters, unlike other bats found in Illinois
that are insectivores. Also of note, bats are the only mammals that
can truly fly
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Seba's short-tailed bats are common throughout their geographic
range of Central and South America but still face the same threats
as other bats around the world, including hunting, habitat
destruction, pesticide poisoning and persecution by humans.
Protection of roosting sites and education programs to allay
misguided fear of bats are important measures for the conservation
of all bat species, including this one.
"We're excited whenever we add a new animal to our zoo," said Jay
Tetzloff, Miller Park Zoo superintendent. "Our guests are really
enjoying the new Seba's short-tailed bats."
Miller Park Zoo
news release received from
Bloomington Parks & Recreation]