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Official opening of fruit bat enclosure 15 December 2005

    Official Opening of Fruit Bat Enclosure On Monday 12th December, the new house and enclosure for Rodrigues Island Fruit Bats was officially opened at the Curraghs Wildlife Park.

    Eddie Lowey MLC, Chairman of the Leisure Division of the Department of Tourism and Leisure, performed the ceremony before an invited audience of members and officers of the Department and members of the Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, the Manx Bat Group and season ticket holders. Representing the Department of Tourism and Leisure were the Minister, Hon D C Cretney MHK, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carol Glover, the Director of Leisure, Mike Ball and Mrs Sue Harrison, Higher Executive Officer.

    In opening the enclosure, Mr Lowey, thanked the three groups for their interest and support for the project and praised the staff of the Wildlife Park for completing a wonderful new facility for the public to visit. For the first time the hatchway between the house and the outside flight area was opened and after the speeches the first fruit bat emerged for a flight around the enclosure, to the surprise and delight of the audience.

    General Manager of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, Mr Nick Pinder, commented; “We didn’t arrange for the bat to come out just then but it was perfect timing. Rodrigues Island fruit bats are among the most threatened bat species in the world, endangered by loss of habitat on their only island home, Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean. The Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust co-ordinate an international breeding programme for this species, of which this all-male group is part, so its really pleasing that the Wildlife Park is not only providing a fantastic exhibit for the visitors but playing its part in wildlife conservation as well.”

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