The big golden-crowned bat, which has wings almost as wide as Tom Cruise, has a menacing appearance when flying spread-eagled through the air. Its thin, furry body draws attention to how enormous its wings are. The stretchy black cape it wears when roosting makes it look like a vampire.

Despite its intimidating size, the fruit-eating megabat, a member of a native Philippine species, is not aggressive and does not attempt to harm people. Instead, they intrude on their environment and are illegally hunted for sport or food, putting them on the endangered species list.

After seeing them in viral photographs, people were fascinated and terrified by the size and predatory aspect of these helpless, endangered creatures.

When the first pictures circulated online, they were referred to as “human-sized” bats, but this erroneous description led to confusion and dread.

We need to clarify a few before learning more about these unusual species. First, they are not “human-sized” unless you apply a very generous definition and compare them to a “small child” rather than an average adult human.


One of the world’s largest bat species, the enormous golden-crowned bat has a wingspan of roughly 5 feet 6 inches, which can easily support its small body, which can range in size from seven to 11.4 inches, and weighs less than three pounds.

The fig-loving bat is a nocturnal herbivore that forages at night for roots, fruits, and vegetables while wearing a furry golden crown.

Although there are other varieties of flying fox megabats throughout Asia, Africa, and Australia, the golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) alone inhabits the forests of the Philippines, frequently existing in colonies of up to 10,000 individuals.

Wikipedia Commons / Gregg Yan

It can be seen napping during the daytime hanging from its clawed toes in the treetops with a group of companions. The large flying fox, which has a wingspan of under five feet and is a lesser cousin of the giant bat, will occasionally sleep with it.

Instead of using echolocation like many other bats, huge golden-crowned flying foxes navigate the air using their senses of sight and smell.

The flying fox, unrelenting in its fight against destruction, is crucial to the ecosystem of the various forests in the Philippines by dispersing fig seeds after it feeds.

Wikipedia Commons / Luke Marcos Imbong

Sadly, human destruction increases in direct proportion to bat productivity.

Bat Conservation International (BCI) claims that “more than 90% of the old-growth forests in the Philippines have been destroyed, and the species has completely vanished from several of its old roosting sites on multiple islands.”

The number of golden-crowned bats, which fell by 50% between 1986 and 2016, is rapidly declining due to destroying their natural habitat and hunting for recreation, commerce, and personal consumption. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as endangered, thus.


Even though bats are protected by the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001, the law is not upheld.

Even though most of the animal’s roosts are in protected zones, it is common to kill animals in large numbers. Hunters shoot nocturnal animals while roosting, which is a very brutal and terrible practice. Many animals are injured while still grasping the limb with their toes, preventing them from dropping when killed.

The flying foxes aren’t afraid of people, even though humans seriously threaten the bat population. They can be found in forests close to cities or villages, perched on utility poles, or loitering in inhabited areas where they feel at ease. But because they can distinguish between safe and unsafe environments, they will change their roosting locations to inaccessible places, such as hills higher than 1,000 feet above sea level.


These bats are also incredibly clever animals, on par with dogs, and studies have shown that they have a strong memory and are quick learners.

Flying fox bats that humans raised were successfully trained to pull levers to receive juice rewards, according to a study on operant conditioning. More significantly, three and a half years later, when the bats returned to the comfortable experimental chamber, they pulled the levers immediately because they knew they would be rewarded.

People may find bats terrifying or uncomfortable due to their distinctive physical characteristics. Their leathery wings, with pointed jaws and big eyes, may induce fear or anxiety.

While it’s true that only three of the 1,300 species of bats are known to feast on blood, they have a poor reputation as violent animals. The golden-crowned flying foxes are rather cute once you get over the shock of how creepy they are.

It’s very upsetting to learn that these bright, innocent animals are being slaughtered and losing their habitat due to deforestation.

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