Kent

Little Red Flying Fox bred at Wingham Wildlife Park

Red Flying Fox
Image caption Little Red Flying Foxes eat fruits and flowers and help with tree pollination

A species of bat has been bred successfully for the first time outside of Australasia, a Kent wildlife park has claimed.

A baby Little Red Flying Fox arrived at Wingham Wildlife Park, near Canterbury.

The park said it has the only group of Little Red Flying Foxes outside of Australia and New Zealand.

Little Red Flying Foxes, which grow to 22cm (8.8in) in length with 1m (3ft) a wingspan, are part of the Old World fruit bat family.

According to the International Species Information System the species has been bred in captivity before but only in Australia and New Zealand.

Since December 2009, Wingham Wildlife Park has had two adult males and one female Little Red Flying Foxes, which are the smallest kind of Red Flying Fox in Australia.

Anthony Binskin, from the park, said: "The birth of this baby has been made all the more special for us because it is the first baby Little Red Flying Fox to be born in captivity outside of Australia and New Zealand."

The species eats fruits and flowers and helps with tree pollination. In the wild the bats are not threatened with extinction, but their natural habitat is slowly decreasing in size.

It is not yet known if the baby bat is male or female.

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