Hanging out with our latest residents

The Folly Farmers were really delighted about the arrival of our latest residents.

A two-toed sloth and seven critically endangered Rodrigues fruit bats have joined our family.

A sloth has been high on our zoo wish list for a while and it's also a popular request from our visitors too. So imagine our delight when our marvellous zoo curator, Tim, broke the news. 

The enclosure, which can be found in our Folly Interactive centre, has been extended and specially adapted to include a higher ceiling for our bats as well as climbing frames and hanging space for Tuppee, our sloth. And they both like to hang out...a lot.

The fruit bats, which have a wing span of around two feet, usually live in Rodrigues, an island in the Indian Ocean belonging to Mauritius. The island is now the only place they can be found in the wild. There's only between 2,000 and 4,000 bats left in the wild, but there been as few as 70. This is mostly due to their homes being destroyed through farming and chopping down trees for logs for fuel.

We caught up with our zoo keeper Shelly, who looks after Tuppee and the bats and this is what she had to say about the new arrivals: 

"We've all been looking forward to welcoming these amazing animals to our Folly Farm family. I've worked with smaller animals before like meerkats and porcupines, but they don't really like to be fed by hand, so having closer interaction with the bats and the sloth will be a new experience for me. I'm really excited to be working with the Rodrigues fruit bats, as they're so rare. It's important to take care of them properly and make sure they eat the right things. They love to eat bananas and soft fruits, and usually hang with their wings folded around them for most of the day. Tuppee has settled really well and we've all been really surprised how friendly he is."

A huddle of hanging fruit bats