Wildlife Spotlight: Burma and Bacardi
During Fright Fest, the park is completely transformed, and you’ll recognize one of the hallmark creatures of the fall season is the bat. Many people immediately associate bats with vampires and their terrifying blood sucking behaviors. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is home to a very unique species of bat and there’s no need to worry since blood is not on the menu for this species.
Hanging out at Wildlife Theater are Burma and Bacardi, our two Giant Indian fruit bats. This species of bat are found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Burma, where they typically live in tropical and swampy areas where fruits grow plentifully. This species is also called the flying fox due to their canine-like faces and large size, and they have up to a four foot wingspan. Like their name implies, they love to eat fruit and do so in a very special way unlike most other creatures. Their sharp teeth are used to rip off large chunks, then they’ll squeeze the juices out using their immense jaw pressure and spit out the remaining fruit. The food they consume and the way in which they eat it is essential for regrowth and pollinating of fruit trees within the areas inhabited, making them a vital part of the ecosystem.
Burma and Bacardi are in rare company as bats are not typically thought of as trainable animals and are usually displayed in large groups with limited human interaction. Both bats know a wide range of behaviors, such as spreading open their wings for veterinary exams. They’re also flight trained to allow them plenty of exercise. Flying foxes are known to live into their twenties and with Burma turning 29 in February goes to show the benefits of proper nutrition paired with daily training can greatly improve longevity in human care.
You can see our fruit bats during the Wildlife Theater demonstration shows in Tava’s Jungleland.