Things are a bit batty at Rolling Hills Zoo. A new exhibit featuring live bats opened to the public Saturday morning.
According to the zoo, “Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats” is an interactive exhibition that helps visitors discover that many beliefs about these flying mammals are just myths that have held fast throughout the years. The exhibit explains that bats are actually gentle, beneficial, little animals.
With lifelike models and interactives, the ecological importance of bats is also revealed, and visitors can better understand and truly appreciate the wonders of the bat world.
Masters of the Night will also introduce guests to three bat species: the common vampire bat, that can double its size after eating a diet of the blood of other animals; the Seba’s short-tailed bat, the tiny fruit-eating bat that is only two inches long and weighs less than an ounce; and the Indian flying fox, one of the largest bats in the world with a wing-span of up to five feet.
Visitors are introduced to modern bats with 12 graphic panels and more than 15 engaging interactive components including an experience to test the sensitivity of bat hearing, matching bats up with their favorite foods, and looking for bats masked in a variety of habitats. Other interactives help visitors learn echo-location, find where bats are located worldwide, and discover how mother bats easily find their babies. The experience is meant to explode common myths and foster a basic understanding of how bats fit into the history of life and the fabric of their native environments.
The new bat exhibit, located in the in the Wildlife Museum in the Earl Bane Gallery, is open through September 7th during regular zoo hours.