Bats as Pets

Try to imagine what this feels like…

Two Egyptian fruit bats owned by an exotic pet collector. They spent 10 miserable years in this cage before they were finally rescued.
A mother and daughter kept as pets. Sadly, the mother did not survive to be rescued

Someone takes you captive, you don’t know why. You don’t speak their language and you are powerless to escape. You have no idea what they want of you, and you are terrified. Your captor locks you into a bathroom. This bathroom has a window covered with a shade, but you are not allowed to open it to get fresh air, or even look outside. There is a sink, but only your captor knows how to turn the water on. There is a toilet where you can eliminate, but only your captor decides when it should be flushed. You get the same thing to eat day after day after day after day. When you don’t feel good no one knows how to help, so you suffer in pain. There are no pictures on the walls, no TV, no computer, no phones, and no friends. You have absolutely nothing whatsoever to help you pass the endless days and nights. If you are lucky you might have a companion, but otherwise you are completely alone, and this is where you will spend every single day for the rest of your natural life.

This is what a bat feels when we take it into captivity. It has lost all control of its world. As captors, we control everything about its daily life. What it eats, when it gets fresh water, when its enclosure is cleaned, whether or not it gets fresh air, has companions, and whether or not it has enrichment to brighten its caged life.

The daughter bat, after being rescued by Bat World Sanctuary
The daughter bat, after being rescued by Bat World Sanctuary

Having a pet bat might make you feel cool, but people who know better (and most of them do) feel that it is a horrible cruelty and they cringe when they see people keeping a bat as a pet. Aside from that, the act of keeping a bat as a pet will cause it to experience terror, inappropriate and damaging nutrition and terrible loneliness and boredom.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Bats are capable of living over 25 years. Bats kept as pets rarely survive more than one year. A total waste of life as well as the $800 to $2,500 you spent on having a cool “pet.”

Additionally, bats are protected by law at many levels. Regulations govern the taking of bats from the wild, and the transfer of bats is carefully regulated by the state and federal governments. USDA permits from the Animal Health Inspection Service are often required, special permitting regulations can apply at the state level, and interstate laws prohibit transport of these animals without special authority.

Please note: If you already have a “pet bat” and want to better its life by placing it into a sanctuary, please contact us at sanctuary@batworld.org. We will be happy to help, no questions asked.

More information on pet bats:
Pet Bat Information
Top 10 Bad Pets to Have
Pet Bats, Buyer Beware


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