SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Zoo is welcoming the return of flying foxes — an endangered species that hasn’t been at the zoo since the 1980s.
A news release states a group of flying foxes were relocated from Zoo Tampa to the San Antonio Zoo and they are now available to view near the tree kangaroos.
The group includes seven males and 11 females. They are Stella, Esther, Ady, Penny, Leila, Rosa, Jasmine, Marla, Sweet Pea, Fern, Snapdragon, Rufio, Bruce, Guapo, Homer, Count, Mickey, and Yoda.
Get a glimpse of the flying foxes in the video player above
The Large Flying Fox or Malayan Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus) is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
The IUCN said the species’ population has decreased due to the loss of lowland forest habitat and hunting over the last 25 years.
Despite its scientific name, the flying fox is actually a bat that feeds on fruit. It does have some fox-ish features, like a fox-like head, pointed ears and sharp curved claws.
“Having flying foxes back at San Antonio Zoo is a significant milestone for us and yet another reason to visit the zoo in 2024,” Tim Morrow, president & CEO of San Antonio Zoo, said in the release. “Not only will visitors have the extraordinary opportunity to witness these magnificent giants up close, but they will also learn about the importance of conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the Large Flying Fox.”
The flying foxes roost during the day and fly at night to feed. They weigh about eight pounds and have a wingspan of up to 5 1/2 feet wide.