The Young Ones Growing Up
The female Seba`s Short-tailed Bats give birth about twice a year. The newborn babies weigh only about five grams and are completely dependent on their mothers. Like all mammals, they only drink their mother’s milk at first. When about three weeks old, the young bats start trying to fly by themselves. After eight weeks they get weaned and have to hunt for their own food. They have to eat a lot to acquire their final weight of 18-19 grams, which they reach when they are ten weeks old.
Baby Bat Pim
Giving birth and raising Pim was too much for his mother, so she died when he was only a few weeks old. On March 12, 2011, the keepers found little Pim lying on the floor of the bat enclosure. He was so starved and weak that he was trembling all over and couldn’t hang from the ceiling by himself. Banana pulp was needed!
Patiently, the little nursling was fed and cared for. With each day, Pim grew stronger and livelier. A few weeks later the day had come when the little youngster could be put into the enclosure with the other bats. At first, the change from banana pulp to whole fruit and a lot of flying around was very hard on Pim; quite a few times the keeper saw him just hanging there, taking a rest. Meanwhile, though, he has settled in and gets along fine with his fellows. Still, he remembers his keeper well. Sometimes he lands on her hand just like he used to when this was the place where he got his daily banana pulp.