Dietary and Foraging Enrichment
1. Novelty in Diet:
– Recognize that captive bats often have limited dietary variety due to practical constraints.
– Introduce novelty to stimulate natural foraging and exploratory behaviors.
2. Fruit-Eating Bats:
– For fruit-eating bats, use creative food presentation methods:
– Consider suet feeders, wicker baskets, and other inventive devices.
– Scatter food around enclosures, encouraging bats to search for it.
– Utilize mineral blocks and salt licks as dietary supplements.
3. Plant-Visiting Bat Species:
– Offer novel foods to plant-visiting bat species, such as fruits, vegetables, juices, nectars, teas, browse, and flowers.
– Experiment with various food presentation methods.
4. Insectivorous Bat Species:
– Include a variety of insect sizes in dietary enrichment.
– Consider offering live insects, either captured in the enclosure or cultured.
1. Water as Dietary Enrichment
– Recognize the significance of water as a source of dietary enrichment for most bat species.
2. Alter Water Taste
– Modify the taste of water using bottled or mineral water.
– Add flavoring with Avimin® multivitamins or tea.
3. Ice and Mist
– Offer flavored water as ice to encourage bats to drink.
– Stimulate bat activity by using misters or water sprays in enclosures, simulating natural conditions.