Cyprus Mail

Animal protection NGO saves rare bat from trappers

cabs2 rescued fruit bat
The fruit bat being rescued from the illegal net

A wildlife activist group saved a rare Egyptian fruit bat and five blackcap birds after they were found entangled in an illegal mist-net setup in Vrysoules.

The committee against bird slaughter (Cabs) announced on Wednesday that one of its teams busted the illegal operation after they uncovered two large mist-nets and an electronic bird calling device, reporting Tuesday’s incident to the police.

During the operation Cabs members freed the entangled animals, detailing afterwards that the Egyptian fruit bat is one of 19 bat species in Cyprus and the only one which eats fruits.

“It is a species of huge importance to Cyprus’ natural heritage as Cyprus is the only European country where this rare mammal species exists,” Cabs explained.

According to Haris Nicolaou, an expert on indigenous flora and fauna, fruit-eating bats were once common in Cyprus in the past, but numbers have been rapidly declining over the last 15 years and there are now just an estimated population of 1,100.

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