When we think of cute, furry animals, bats don’t usually come to mind. A new video released by animal rescuer Mandi Griffith of Sydney Wildlife in Australia might change your way of thinking!
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Mandi is the caregiver for Jeddah, a juvenile grey-headed flying fox bat. This species is native to Australia and serves an important purpose in the ecosystem there. They’re also much larger than you might expect, with adults measuring up to 11 inches long and weighing in at 1.5 pounds.
Jeddah was brought to Sydney Wildlife after being found orphaned on the ground when he was still a tiny baby. The veterinarian thought he may have suffered a concussion, so he was hand raised by Mandi and other rescuers. Mandi noticed right away that Jeddah was a very different kind of bat than most.
“Jeddah was a very vocal baby, making adorable squeaking noises as he enjoyed his warm milk, or was groomed,” she explained. “There was nothing he liked more than being tucked inside my jacket as I worked cleaning the aviaries, cleaning food buckets, and tending to the other bats. Occasionally he’d extend his little thumb and draw my hand to his head so I could tickle his ears and he would squeak like crazy in ecstasy.”
Mandi uploaded a video of Jeddah’s adorably happy squeaks, and it is just plan adorable! You’d never even know he’s a bat when you look at his little furry face.
As Mandi strokes his head, Jeddah could not seem any more comfortable. He not only emits the cutest little squeaks of happiness, his eyes actually roll back in pleasure as well. This is a bat who is fully enjoying his massage!
Mandi explained that part of the rescue process means Jeddah will go into a creche to help him learn how to hang upside down and generally do bat things instead of human things. This video was taken before Jeddah transitioned to his creche, so he’s just a baby enjoying a head rub from his surrogate mama.
“After 5 weeks in a creche, baby bats go from adorable little melting fuzzballs like Jeddah to confident, gregarious, colony animals desperate to get out into the wild and fly free,” Mandi said. “For this reason, bats are very rewarding to rehabilitate and release but don’t make good pets as they need colony life for their mental health, and to fly to keep them healthy.”
Because of his sweet disposition, Jeddah never really got “good” at being a bat, so now he lives with a licensed wildlife educator and is an ambassador for his species at the zoo.
So now he gets all the head scratches and tickles he wants? Well played, Jeddah! If we didn’t know better we’d say he failed at his bat duties on purpose.
Watch Jeddah’s absolutely adorable squeaks in the video below, and don’t forget to share to change someone’s opinion on bats!
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