BAT WORLD SANCTUARY
CAPTIVE CARE SHEET FOR FRUIT BATS
Bat World Sanctuary does not condone keeping fruit bats in captivity outside of approved sanctuaries and
other licensed facilities. However, due to uncontrolled breeding in captive colonies at zoos and the subse-
quent closures of said zoos, as well as loopholes in laws regarding exotic animals in the pet trade, fruit
bats have ended up in unregulated captive situations in massive numbers. Accordingly, we believe it is in
the best interest of these animals to provide information so the bats will receive optimum care (despite
the fact that these animals should have been responsibly placed in bona-fide institutions).
This document covers only the basic facets of captive fruit bat care, including housing and colony mainte-
nance, diet, orphan care, and enrichment. Caring for captive bats is complex and each component ad-
dressed here is equally important to the health and well-being of the animals. Proper veterinary care is
also crucial to the health of these animals.
A captive colony of fruit bats should be comprised of no less than 10 individuals. Keeping a fruit bat alone
with no roostmates is cruel and will ultimately result in the death of the bat. All members of the colony
should, ideally, be of the same sex; however, regardless of whether the colony is single-sex or mixed, all
males must be neutered. Neutering males will serve not only to prevent unwanted births in the colony,
but will also reduce territorial aggression, which often results in fatalities, as well as infant mortality.
Given the ready availability of fruit bats in the exotic pet trade at the present time, there is no justifica-
tion for maintaining a captive breeding colony.
A colony of 10 bats will require a minimum enclosure size of 12’ x 12’ x 7.5’. Cages should be con-
structed on 2’ x 4’ pvc or wooden lumber. If the colony size is larger the cage size will need to be ad-
justed accordingly. The enclosure must have a double-door entry. The f