People vacationing in the Seychelles Islands are reporting that fruit bats (specifically the flying fox Pteropus seychellensis) are on the menu in many restaurants, including at high-end resorts.
Some of the bats caught for these restaurants are captured without injury. They wait in display cages in public view and are killed when someone orders a bat meat dish. Others are caught and later killed using a horrendously cruel method involving fishing lines with hooks. The lines are attached close together in order to trap and entangle the bats. These traps are then strung up and placed directly in the flight path of the bats and cover the vast majority of fruit trees where they are roosting and feeding. Bamboo poles are used to string the net as far as 100 feet in length and up to 50 feet high. Pregnant bats and mother flying with their babies attached also caught in these nets.
Some bats caught in the traps manage to escape, only to later die a painful and slow death from the horrible injuries caused by the hooks.
One bat somehow escaped the netting with injuries to wings and neck. He was then caught by men who tied a very tight cord around his neck and then left him for three days. He was rescued by a Good Samaritan who tried to save him but he ultimately died of a secondary infection.
The Seychelles government does little to help, declaring that the practice is “a local tradition.” However, this tradition must stop. Tourism numbers are continuously rising, with 300,000 visitors to the Seychelles islands in 2018 alone. Each year the numbers of tourists are rising even more. The effect of consuming bat meat will have dire consequences to the Seychelles islands’ bat populations, plant distribution, and entire ecosystems of the islands. This practice and tradition is no longer ethical or sustainable.
Please help to put a stop to this barbaric practice by contacting the Seychelles government officials to voice your dismay about this barbaric tradition. Please click here for a sample letter that also lists the restaurants serving bat meat.
Director General Biodiversity Conservation: Mrs Marie May Muzungaile, Email: [email protected] Phone: +248 4670500
Minster of Tourism: Mr Dogley
Email: [email protected]
FRUIT BATS ON THE MENU:
NOTE: Some of these restaurants listed below have already been contacted and informed about the value of fruit bats on the Seychelles islands, as well as the cruelty involved in capturing these gentle animals. There response was to state that there are no regulations that prevent them from serving fruit bats in their restaurants. Please send an email and leave a review of your thoughts about bat meat on their menus. A complete list of these restaurants, with links to their Facebook page and TripAdvisor page, is below. Please click here for a sample letter to send via email.