December 26, 2008

Oldest captive bat turns 23

Officials at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in suburban Detroit said the world's oldest known bat in captivity celebrated his 23rd birthday Friday.

Rob Mies, director of the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., institute's Organization for Bat Conservation, said the 23-year-old winged mammal, Tanner, is a rare and endangered golden bat, a species found only on a 13-square-mile island in the Indian Ocean, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Mies said that instead of singing and cake for his birthday, Tanner received a papaya, mango and melon cocktail.

He's older, so you don't want to take him by surprise too much, Mies said.

Tanner officially became the world's oldest bat in captivity earlier this year when a 23-year-old bat at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo died.