Is This Really a Human-Sized Bat?
A giant bat the size of a human hanging out in the Philippines? Well, aside from the novel corona virus, in 2020, this year I’ve so far reported how due to the shut down wild animals have appeared in cities, like a greater one-horned rhino meandering through a town in Nepal; the plague occurring in the U.S. Southwest; giant hornets coming to the U.S.; a strange rabbit virus killing domestic and wild rabbits, and swarms of millions of flying ants in the UK.
The bat in question is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, it’s real but it’s nothing new. What’s new is that these bats are rarely seen in urban areas, and rarely seen period. They roost deep in forest caves or high up in trees in the rain forests of the Philippines. The Giant Golden-Crowned Flying-Fox Bat is a rare and endangered species, and indeed features very long wings. While their wingspan can reach nearly 6-feet, they only weigh between two and three pounds. So, that’s hardly equivalent to a human weight, despite their wingspan.
Various species of flying foxes – named for their head and face resembling a fox – are found in Australia and throughout much of Asia and parts of Africa. They only eat fruits and are integral in dispersing seeds in the forests. They are not dangerous to people, and will do anything to avoid humans who in the Philippines still hunt these animals, and eat them. Incidentally, when not cooked properly or under insanitary conditions, like all bats they may spread disease. If you happen to find a giant bat, don’t pet the bat (or any bat species) or interact in anyway – just leave the bat alone. Left alone, flying foxes do nothing to harm humans, but they do benefit their quickly disappearing forest homes. As more of the forests are torn down, the flying foxes have fewer places to find food.