October 14th, 1997 ~ July 3rd, 2021
Chessie was born in a zoo in 1997. Over time she wound up at a facility in Michigan (OBC) where she was on display for the public. Rather than living on a beautiful island where she belonged, she lived in a wire cage with little to no enrichment to occupy her intelligent mind.
Eventually the facility obtained another Rodrigues fruit bat so Chessie finally had company. Sadly, about that same time Chessie began to lose her sight. To make matters worse, the facility had obtained many other animals and ran out of space, so Chessie and her roostmate were moved into a small crate and kept in a broom closet. Within a few months Chessie’s roostmate passed away, leaving Chessie by herself. There she languished for the next two years, all alone with limited vision, and only feeling fresh air when a volunteer would leave her closet door open.
Fortunately for Chessie and 250 other animals, the facility closed in 2018. We immediately reached out to rescue as many bats as possible. Thankfully, 90 of the bats, including Chessie, came to Bat World Sanctuary where they could finally have the life they so richly deserved.
Chessie seemed thrilled to once-again be around her own kind. Within weeks she gained much needed weight, likely from enjoying the fresh fruit and vegetables provided round the clock. We learned that her favorite food was sweet potato and romaine lettuce. She was always first in line to reach the “salad bar” when it arrived, earning her the nickname “Chunky Chessie”.
Chessie had two flying fox friends, Starlie and Statler. All three elderly bats were never far away from each other and were often found cuddling together to sleep. Chessie finally had happy life she had always deserved, and she knew she was safe.
We are thankful for the time we had to make her life as wonderful as it could possibly be, we just wish it could have been much longer.
Chessie would have been 24 in October. Our beautiful girl passed in her sleep so we believe her passing was an easy one. Goodbye “Chunky Chessie”, we will all miss you dearly.