Bats are Funny

Most of you reading this already know that bats are vital to the health of our planet as well as being exceptionally clean, highly intelligent and long-lived. However, you may not realize they are also quite funny.  Here are a few examples of our little winged clowns of the night sky.

King of Plush Toy Hill
Winston is a Brazilian free-tailed bat who arrived at Bat World as an emaciated orphan in 2008. The starvation he suffered before coming to us caused him to lose all his teeth in his first year of life. He is also slightly smaller than the other bats he roosts with. Despite these challenges, Winston always wins.

Boris Pees in a Bucket
We have no idea why Boris decided that taking the time to maneuver his butt around so that it fits perfectly inside an empty salad bucket is easier than simply peeing on the floor like everyone else. Maybe it’s the challenge? Only Boris knows for sure.

Bumpkin Likes a Challenge
Bumpkin clearly likes to create goals for herself. This footage came from our toy box live cam in October (hence the Halloween decorations). Note that bats always use their thumbs to reach for objects they want, just like we do with our hands.  Bumpkin struggled with her new self-made goal for a moment but finally mastered it. Perhaps it was the Frankenstein toy leg that inspired her.

Dental Hygiene
All Egyptian fruit bats know that proper brushing takes at least two minutes.

Binky and the Blimp
Binky is an African fruit bat who fell in love with the “blimp”. The blimp is a plastic bin that we designed for the elderly fruit bats who sometimes have trouble clinging to the mesh on the ceiling. The blimp hangs from the ceiling and it contains food, water and toys. A bat can simply recline inside the blimp and have access to all of their basic needs while still being close to the other bats. Binky discovered the blimp several years ago when it was being used by an elderly fruit bat named Bentley. Binky decided to move into the blimp with Bentley and stayed with Bentley every night. Bentley passed away in 2004 but Binky continues to use the blimp to this day. Last year Binky decided that he needs to be taxied to the blimp by a human and placed inside (even though he is perfectly able to get there on his own). He yells at his caretakers until someone comes to hand-deliver him to his beloved blimp that located within 6 feet of his roost. (Oddly enough Binky somehow manages to get out of the blimp and back to his roost every morning all by himself.) Click here to listen to Binky yelling for taxi-service.

Binky hanging inside his beloved blimp, yelling for treats to be delivered.

Cirque du Fruit Bats “The Pink Unicorn”
Footage from the fruit bat’s toy box cam showing the literal circus that occurs every single night.

Bat World Sanctuary is an Amazon Associate. Products listed here help us earn revenue to support our rescue efforts. When purchased (and at no additional cost to you) Amazon will donate as much as 10% to our sanctuary. Click the item to purchase a Pink Unicorn as seen above through Amazon.com.




Boo2 showing off his sweet, goofy smile.

Boo2 is an Egyptian fruit bat who was born at Bat World Sanctuary after his mother and seven other bats were rescued by Bat World from the now closed Little River Zoo. They came from a horrible situation.

An individual who was hired to “liquidate” the zoo’s animals called us about placing the remaining 8 bats. Sadly, the others had been sold to the cruel exotic pet trade. This individual originally planned to keep the remaining 8 bats and breed them, selling the “stock.” Thankfully, we talked her out of it, and all eight bats made it safely to Bat World Sanctuary in Sept of 2011. Boo2’s mother was pregnant when she arrived and Boo2 was born a few months later.

Boo2 became best buddies with Peekaboo, an Egyptian fruit bat who was rescued from similar conditions in 2009. It was this friendship that earned him the name Boo2. Peekaboo and Boo2 love to spend time with each other and are never seen far apart.

Boo2 (looking at the camera) with Peekaboo.
Boo2 (looking at the camera) with Peekaboo.
Boo2 inserting himself in front of a morning keeper in order to get another melon treat. An empty fruit kabob is hanging beside Boo2.

Boo2 has so much personality that we have nicknamed him the “cage clown.” He’s never seen without an endearing, goofy grin on his face. Twice daily, keepers conduct visual exams of the bats under the guise of doling out melon treats to any bat who will take one. Boo2 positions himself in front of the keeper in any way possible in order to receive treat after treat.

We are so grateful to have rescued Boo2 from the dire conditions to which he would have been born, and a situation from which he most likely would have perished. Thank you to all who adopt and support Boo2 so that he and his kind can live a protected, happy and enriched life at Bat World Sanctuary.


My name is Mitch Gilley, and with this blog I hope to get you all acquainted with the daily workings of Bat World Sanctuary along with me. While I’ve written for Bat World for a while now, I only have four days as a full-time volunteer worker, which means that just as I’m getting a handle on what I’ve been taught so far, I’m also seeing just how much more there is to learn.

You might wonder how one finds themselves quitting a perfectly adequate and very steady job to instead come into contact with guano, mealworms and half-chewed fruit every day. The short answer: Peekaboo and Ichabod. The long answer: well, it’s long, but here goes.


On October 31st (yes, Halloween) of last year, I happened across an injured Mexican free tail in my previous employer’s warehouse where I worked. Being someone who’s always hated to see animals suffer, it broke my heart to see the bat who would eventually be christened Ichabod by Facebook drag himself across the warehouse; being someone who was very affected by a school presentation by Amanda Lollar as a boy, I knew full well that help was close by and that I could get him to it. Ichabod himself was putting forth nothing less than heroic effort – you try climbing a bay door when your wrist is broken and swollen up to twice its size – but the fact remained that he couldn’t fly, and a flightless bat in the wild is not long for this world.

It wasn’t the smoothest bat rescue ever undertaken, but eventually he was collected as gently as possible thanks to Bat World’s online how-to and taken to one of the best places in the world for an injured bat to be. I ran a blog at the time and spent much of the next month writing up the story before kicking off an impromptu email to Amanda asking how poor Ichabod was faring. I was genuinely curious, but the story also needed closure.

Word came back, and from one of my childhood heroines no less, that Ichabod was well, but that his wrist had been too badly hurt for him to be able to fly again, so he’d be a lifelong resident of Bat World Sanctuary.  Word also came back that Amanda wanted to share my blog on Bat World’s Facebook page once it was ready. A quick check confirmed that something like 40,000 people would end up reading it, and while I’d had previous experience with a previous mass incursion to my blog, it was still with a good and strong case of nerves that I proceeded.

Still, all was well, and then Dottie Hyatt, the Vice President of Bat World, asked me to volunteer my writing services. Now, I will at this point let you in on a well-kept secret among writers: we are all egotistical, despite whatever other positive character traits we might have. It’s not a dig, it’s simply inherent to being the kind of person who says to themselves “You know what?  The stuff I think?  It’s awesome, and I’m going to tell everyone.” Between this and the high esteem in which I held the people asking, I instantly said yes.

Mitch, sweeping the insect bats flight enclosure.

Before I knew it, I was spending my days tending the bats directly, preparing their food, cleaning their cages, feeding the ones who’ve gotten used to me already and attempting to woo the ones that haven’t.  This includes Peekaboo, because while she gave me her blessing on my very first visit to Bat World – I was crafty and used a passion fruit shampoo so I would smell edible – she remains a little shy. This is no doubt a shrewd plot to prompt me to bribe her with honeydew, which is working flawlessly.

I see what’s possible in my fellow volunteer Angela, with whom Peekaboo is utterly in love.  She’d been working selflessly seven days a week until my arrival was able to offer some days off, and I’m told that Peekaboo was beside herself with joy upon Angela’s return, as evidenced by the picture posted to Bat World’s Facebook on Sunday. She doesn’t normally swing on that toy, that was almost certainly celebratory.

And then, of course, there’s Amanda. With her, bats that have done nothing but shrink away from both Angela and myself come right up to her for their morning treats. Little Jamaican fruit bats will flit past and pluck honeydew from her hand. Even the very shy flying foxes, some of which were taken from places in which humans treated them very badly, will approach her without reservation. It’s interesting to watch these extraordinarily wary, reticent animals come up to her. I’ve only been there a few days now, but that’s long enough to get the sense that it’s very difficult to win their trust, and it’s clear that Amanda won it a long time ago. They are entirely different animals around her. Except for Peekaboo, for whom all humans are mere pairs of stilts.

It certainly makes you wonder what the other bats think of her.

There’s so much more to say: the experience of stepping into first Bat World Sanctuary, and then into its inner sanctum, the flight cages, is easily a long post unto itself, which is precisely what I’m going to do.

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