Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

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Indian Flying Fox: Fearless Exploring

One of the largest of Bats, Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus) has a wingspan of more than a child's height. During her flight, She extends her legs outward to expand the span of her wings. A strong swimmer, Indian Flying Fox crosses rivers using her wings as flippers.

Less feared than other types of Bats, Indian Flying Fox eats only fruit. Her favorite is very soft bananas which She swallows whole.  However, with mangoes, She extracts the juice and spits out the seeds. Indian Flying Fox is an important pollinator in the tropics, and a major dispenser of seeds. In certain parts of India, She is regarded as sacred.

Unfortunately for Her, her desire for fruit has led Indian Flying Fox in conflict with people. Because She causes extensive damage to fruit orchards, many farmers consider Indian Flying Fox to be a pest. Governments in South Asia have instituted kill programs to stop Her, since they consider Indian Flying Fox to be “vermin.”

Found throughout South Asia and the Maldives, Indian Flying Fox prefers living near large areas of water. She is often found in tropical forests and swamps. Once, She settles into a suitable place, Indian Flying Fox makes it her permanent Camp. (Groups of Flying Foxes are called “camps.”) Because of her strong flying abilities, Indian Flying Fox colonized many islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Many species of Flying Foxes found on these islands can be traced to her.

Indian Flying Fox flies long distances at night to search for her food. Some of her travels have led her to distant lands. She is fearless in what She does knowing that She can navigate anywhere. A dauntless explorer, Indian Flying Fox travels to islands near and far. Traversing over vast stretches of ocean, She is unafraid of never reaching land. Indian Flying Fox is confident in her navigation skills. Because of her self-assuredness, She has become the mother of many island species. Take wing and fly. Just be care not to be a pest.

Wisdom of Indian Flying Fox:
Having Adventures
Learning Not to be a Pest  

Note: Indian Flying Fox is also known as Greater Indian Fruit Bat.

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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