pet bats

Tell Zoos to Stop Leaking Bats into Research and the Cruel Exotic Pet Trade

Many zoos provide enrichment and quality of life for the bats in their care and and take the time to neuter males bats to prevent excess reproduction. However, most do not, and bats suffer the consequences. Because of the lack of population control in bats housed in zoos across the US, the animals suffer from over crowding, abandoned babies, lack of enough food and flight space and even early death. In an effort to control excess populations, some zoos resort to culling, supplying bats to research (where they are ultimately euthanized) and even supplying unscrupulous pet trade dealers with bats that bred in cramped cages. Babies are ripped away from their mothers and then sold at hundreds to thousands of dollars to the unsuspecting public, because these bats typically die within their first year when kept as pets.

Two Egyptian fruit bats owned by an exotic pet collector. They spent 10 miserable years in this cage before they were finally rescued.

Two Egyptian fruit bats kept as pets. Sadly, one did not survive to be rescued.

Below is actual text received from and about accredited and non-accredited zoos across the US over the past few years:

Quotes from individuals regarding the disposal of bats by AZA accredited zoos:

1) “When I told the director that baby vampire bats were being washed down the drain when the exhibit was hosed out, he said “consider it a means of population control.'””

2)  “I talked with Ryan, the pet store owner I know, and he found out the Egyptians are from the Memphis Zoo. He has a friend in Austin that bought several. They are all males.”

3)  “These are Leaf-nose Fruit Bats from S. America. I have already got the lecture about what zoos are doing with surplus bats. I am not a zoo, and do not agree with most of the things they do. … I am hoping to get some information on this before more babies fail to survive. The ones I have dealt with so far have a good to great appetite, but don’t survive 24 hours.”

4) “It is outrageous the way smaller bats are mis-managed, and a welfare issue. The surpluses available are ridiculous eg 200.200 from Central Park Zoo! …..most zoos are simply not able (or willing) to separate the sexes, and even when they do they often sex the animals incorrectly and one male gets a field day!”

5) “I just received a call from the Cincinnati Museum regarding a man in Cincinnati who owns a pet store. Apparently he is gearing up to accept “leaf-nose fruit bats” from a zoo in NC. This zoo is doling them out much like the other zoo … in FL.”

6) “Apparently it has become routine for zoos to indiscriminately supply the pet trade with their surplus fruit bats. This practice seems highly irresponsible and cruel. What can be done to stop this? Why is population control never considered?”

7) “A friend of mine has recently been given about 200 Leaf-nose Fruit Bats that were left over from a zoo that closed. Many of them have babies or have given birth since he acquired them. Many others appear to be pregnant. Some of the babies have been dropping off and he has not been successful in keeping the alive. He gave two to me…”

8) “I am extremely concerned that bats will end up in the pet trade. … I do not know if this is still happening and if you hear of any please let me know.The Memphis information is disturbing and I will follow up with them. At the very least they should be neutering bats before they send them out…”

9) “I have a group of about 80 Jamaican fruits bats that we have used in testing flight skills. …the Denver Zoo wanted to give me all 400 they have on site if they could have as their situation is out of control.”

Direct quotes made by zookeepers from both accredited and non-accredited zoos regarding bats in their care:

1) “I work with a colony of Seba’s short-tailed bats (Carollia perspicillata) in captivity and lately we have been noticing a dramatic increase in the number of juvenile deaths. We have been unable to determine the reason why and it is driving us crazy! Necropsies have not been helpful the bats are so small that by the time we manage to get them to the necropsy room they are usually autolyzed.”

2) ” … we experienced overcrowding with our Rousettus colony in the past before we made them a single-sex colony and cut down on the number of specimens significantly their reactions were rejecting their babies and engaging in feeding frenzy behavior where they would devour absolutely everything offered to them in record time.”

3) “The injured bats crawl around on the floor sometimes, and are able to fly for very short stints (maybe a couple of seconds, tops); they always return to their little cave, and so really are almost never seen by the public anyway.”

4) “When we had more Jamaicans, we used to get questions from the public about them, because they would crawl on the floor sometimes, but since we now have only 9 left, among all the other bats in the flight, they are hardly even noticed.”

5) “I find it really funny that you have someone looking for Egyptian fruit bats now, because a year ago when we were trying to change over to a single-sex colony, we had so much trouble finding places for them – no one wanted Egyptian fruit bats!”

6) “…about 10 Jamaican fruit bats (all-male and all ancient, the colony has been there since our building opened in 1995, but we are now trying to phase them out),…”

Bats are not disposable commodities, they are thinking, intelligent beings who develop strong -and even lifelong- bonds with family members. Bats are capable of living 25 years or more when provided with a proper environment and care. Bats in the pet trade generally die within the first years due to loneliness, depression and lack of proper care.

Please sign the petition urging the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to immediately stop pushing bats into research and the cruel exotic pet trade, and to neuter all surplus male bats as well as provide an enriched lifetime of care for every bat in their possession.


Flying Fox Conservation Fund – is this really conservation?

Scott Heinrichs calls his organization the “Flying Fox Conservation Fund” (FFCF) but is it really conservation? Would a true bat conservationist keep bats in his basement, breed them, pull youngsters off of their mothers and sell them as pets?

Unfortunately, this appears to be the real story behind the Flying Fox Conservation Fund. And what Scot Heinrichs, owner of “Flying Fox Conservation Fund, likely doesn’t tell you is that Egyptian fruit bats bond for life; families stay together for life in the wild. Imagine having your 6 year old ripped from your arms and sold to a stranger, never to be seen again –  that is the equivalent of what happens when bat pups are pulled off of their mothers and sold for an average of $800 to $2,500 each. Plus, the buyer is likely not told that the “pet bat” they just bought WILL IN ALL LIKELIHOOD BE DEAD WITHIN A YEAR.

One of the unfortunate babies that FFCF ripped away from its mother to be sold as a pet. Click to enlarge

When you look at the Flying Fox Conservation Fund Google page you see that it’s located in Chicago in a home, a “two-flat” home, not a spacious facility where bats are allowed freedom to fly and enjoy quality of life. Is this what you would expect from an organization that calls itself a “conservation fund”? Not only that, according to their very own “Flying Fox Conservation Fund” website, they share this “two-flat” space with all of these animals: “Sloth, Fennec Fox, Armadillo, Kinkajou, Civet, Fruit Bat, Chinchilla, Ferret, Bearded Dragon, Crested Gecko, Boa Constrictor, Tree Frog, Pancake Tortoise, Tarantula, Hissing Roaches, Walking Sticks, Solomon Island Parrot, Lion Head Rabbit

Lastly, this Flying Fox Conservation Fund photo speaks volumes. This poor, heavily pregnant fruit bat is being held up by her delicate wings by Scott Heinrichs. If this doesn’t scream total disrespect for an animal the Flying Fox Conservation Fund touts to “conserve” then what does?

Scott Heinrichs holds a pregnant bat up by her delicate wings

The “Flying Fox Conservation Fund” is no better than the “Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center” in taking the highest dollar possible for bats at the unsuspecting buyers expense- money wasted on an exotic pet that is doomed to die.


Also see:

Pet Bat Information
Rescue Echo (Lisa’s Creatures)
Top Ten Worst Pets

Noah’s Landing Zoo Breeds Bats for the Cruel Exotic Pet Trade

Here are a few comments directly from Noah’s Landing Zoo’s web page

offer enrichment, safety, and comfort to our animals. …Demonstrate the importance of preservation and conservation …and respect for the world around us.”

So why then, is the Noah’s Landing Zoo selling baby fruit bats into the cruel, exotic pet trade, knowing that these animal are doomed to a miserable existence and certain death? Could it be that the almighty dollar was more important than the lives of these innocent animals?

This is one of the ads the Noah’s Landing Zoo has placed on the internet. What happened to offer enrichment, safety, and comfort to our animals. …Demonstrate the importance of preservation and conservation …and respect for the world around us.” ???

Noahs Landing Zoo sells baby bats into the cruel exotic pet trade

Of course, Noah’s Landing Zoo‘s ad does not contain the fact that the high price paid for these bats was wasted when the bats died, likely within the very first year.

Shame on you, Noah’s Landing Zoo. These young animals deserved better.

Also see:

Pet Bat Information
Rescue Echo (Lisa’s Creatures)
Top Ten Worst Pets
Bat World Sanctuary

Exotic Animals For Sale – BUYER BEWARE

The site “Exotic Animals for Sale” is illegally using copyrighted photos to lure people to purchase a bat from the cruel exotic pet trade. They don’t include the likely fact that bats don’t survive when kept as pets.

Their ad states: “Bats for sale… Why just look at bats when you can own a bat as a pet”

ExoticAnimalsforSale is using copyrighted photos to lure people to purchase bats as pets

ExoticAnimalsforSale is using copyrighted photos to lure people to purchase bats as pets

Nowhere in the ad does it tell you that bats typically die within the first year of attempting to keep one as a pet, and the $800 to $2,500 a buyer spent on a “pet bat” is money wasted.

Mark Rosenthal’s Animal Magic – BUYER BEWARE

From the Animal Magic, Inc website:

Through our ever-popular, live performances, we have shared our knowledge, respect and appreciation for the animals that share our planet.  Educating the public and promoting conservation are just a couple of the many ways we show our commitment to the animal kingdom.  When local animal control officers are confronted with a dangerous exotic, we’re sent in to rescue the often illegally obtained “pet.”  Our fully licensed “Haven” program also accepts most exotic animals (including venomous snakes) from private citizens.  We are dedicated to helping those who have discovered that owning this type of “pet” is unfair to the animal, potentially dangerous and far more difficult than they imagined.

Why then, did they sell this poor bat into the “unfair” and cruel exotic pet trade?  It is common knowledge that bats rarely survive more than a year when kept as a pet.

Mark Rosenthal, Animal Magic, sells a bat into the cruel exotic pet trade

From the ad:

This is an animal rarely offered for sale…..a 2 1/2 year old, captive bred, female, giant straw colored fruit bat. We acquired two of these magnificent bats last year (they are sisters) and really only needed one. This one (Stella) is extremely friendly.

It appears that Mark Rosenthal of Animal Magic does not practice what he preaches. And what Mark Rosenthal likely did not disclose to the buyer is that bats bond for life, families stay together for life in the wild (imagine having your 6 year old ripped from your arms and sold to a stranger, never to be seen again). That is the equivalent of what happens when bat pups are pulled off of their mothers and sold for an average of $800 to $2,500 each.  Plus, the buyer was likely not told that the “pet bat” they just bought WILL IN ALL LIKELIHOOD BE DEAD WITHIN A YEAR.

Lastly, the Animal Magic site hides behind this false statement:
“We are often asked about our position on the private ownership  of exotic animals.  Although they are beautiful and fascinating,  many exotics do not make good pets.  But that does not mean we discourage ownership of all exotics! Some can be  outstanding assets for teaching children about responsibility,  zoology and conservation (Examples are bearded dragons,  skinks, tarantulas, corn snakes, etc.).  Additionally, some are  wonderful pets that can live happy, long lives.  How do you  distinguish a mistake from a good choice?  Before you buy an  exotic, ask yourself … Is it fair to the animal?… “

What happened to Stella was far from FAIR, it was despicable