It’s fruiting and flowering season for many trees here in Niger,
…and during our last visit to the Zinder club, Anette and I encountered this Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) as it flew across the pool and dipped down for a drink.
Anette noticed it had a baby hanging around its belly, and went after it after it settled in a neem tree [Azadirachta indica].
The little Egyptian fruit bat noticed Anette as she clicked away,
…but did not mind her presence.
A little while later, she was back at the pool side, hanging down from the shade roof.
Sunbathing in all honour but neither Anette nor I could resist such a golden photo opportunity!
Michel Aymerich of www.geres-asso.org helped me identify this species. From the face, I initially thought it was a flying fox but could not find one that looked like it.
According to wikipedia however, the Egyptian fruit bat is often mistaken for a flying fox, because of it’s doglike face. It is however a bat of the Old World order and can be found in most parts of Africa, except for the driest parts of the Sahara desert. The fruit bats feed on all sorts of fruit (both ripe and unripe) as well as flower nectar. According to wikipedia, they act as pollinators or seed dispersers for many species of tree and plant, such as the Baobab tree [Adansonia digitata].
This little speciesmen was very cute. At first we couldn’t see her baby, but then she opened up her wing wrappings to clean her baby’s back.
You can see the baby’s head, ear and back if you look closely.
The grooming went on for a long time!
Aren’t they cute?
I never thought I would call a bat cute, but despite the clawed wings and very long tongue, I thought she was very sweet!
After a while, the baby stretched one of its wings,
…shielding it completely from the outside world!
I flipped some picture to make it easier to relate to the bat world.
I may not have wanted to pat her,
…but this little bat mother certainly fascinated me and made my day! I hope you enjoyed too!