Clyde, an endangered Florida bonneted bat that was sent to Zoo Miami for treatment from recent injuries, has been successfully released back into the wild, Zoo officials announced Monday. A Little Havana family discovered the bat crawling and injured on Feb. 10. The family reported the bat’s injured condition, since they feared neighborhood feral cats might further harm it.
Endangered Florida bonneted bats are one of the world’s rarest mammals, and Zoo Miami has a large outdoor quarantined flight cage designed specifically for this type of bat’s recovery. Clyde received treatment and recovered at Zoo Miami. He was successfully released on March 1, Zoo officials confirmed.
“As with any wildlife, you should not attempt to ever handle bats, but bats are often misunderstood with overinflated fears of rabies and falsely assumed aggression,'' Zoo officials said in a statement. "They are in fact shy and incredibly helpful animals with some species able to consume their own body weight in insects in a single night. Research published in 2011 showed that bats have an economic value to the agricultural industry estimated at approximately $22.9 billion a year through consumption of pest insects and reduced pesticide need.”