Living the high life! World’s oldest bat Statler, aged 33, is carried around animal sanctuary for daily ‘flight’ because arthritis means one-eyed critter can’t fly any more
- Statler the Indian Flying Fox is believed to be the world’s oldest bat in captivity
- The 33-year-old fruit bat lives at the Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas
- He suffers from arthritis and only has one eye after being mistreated elsewhere
This is the moment 33-year-old fruit bat Statler takes his daily ‘flight’ as zoo keepers lift him up to allow him to fly his wings.
The ancient Indian Flying Fox is believed to be the world’s oldest bat living in captivity, and is a favourite at the Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas.
The one-eyed bat cannot fly due to arthritis. However, staff at the sanctuary indulge Statler by carrying him around every day so he can flap his wings, sightsee and tuck into fresh fruit salad.
Staff at the Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas, carry Statler around and hold him while he tucks into fresh fruit salad
They carry the one-eyed bat around so he can flap his wings and simulate flying
The 33-year-old Indian Flying Fox is believed to be the world’s oldest bat living in captivity
As well as exercising his arthritic wings, Statler is known to enjoy eating a fruit salad
Statler was misreated at another zoo and lost an eye in a fight. Staff say he loves people
If he was in the wild, he would be unable to hunt for food and would die. Addison McCool, Bat World Sanctuary’s executive director, told the HuffPost: ‘Most of our bats, they’re still very much wild animals.
‘Statler is a little bit of an exception to that. He’s quite the special boy in that he really, really loves being with us and loves being around people.’
She said when he wasn’t on a flight simulation he hangs around in an ‘geribatric’ ward enclosure with two other elderly bats, Chessie and Starlie.
The bat was born on April 28, 1987 in Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina and was unable to be released into the wild.
According to McCool, earlier in his life before arriving at her sanctuary, Statler had been mistreated and had some ‘battle scars’ including his missing eye.
The oldest known bat, according to McCool was 41 at the time of its death.
She said they are planning a birthday party for Statler in April, including fruit cake.
The bat was born on April 28, 1987 in Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina and was unable to be released into the wild