Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kasama Residents Urged to Embrace Migratory Bats in Northern Zambia

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Between October and December each year, a remarkable natural phenomenon takes place as thousands of African straw-coloured fruit bats descend into a tiny patch of evergreen swamp forest within Kasanka National Park. These bats, known for their impressive wingspans of up to a meter and adult weights of up to 350g, flock to the area to feast on the delectable pod mahogany, musuku, mufinsa, and milkwood fruits that appear with the first rains.

The exact whereabouts of these bats during the rest of the year remain a mystery to scientists, though some are believed to reside in the rainforests of the Congo. In Kasanka, these bats represent a diverse mix of individuals, all at different stages of their breeding cycle, including mating, various stages of pregnancy, and caring for their young. This diversity suggests that they originate from various regions across Africa.

The Ministry of Tourism in Northern Province is now urging residents of Kasama, the district located in this unique migration path, to embrace and protect these magnificent creatures. The bats have taken refuge around the National Heritage and Conservation Commission offices in Kasama, where they have found relative peace and safety.

Ministry of Tourism acting Regional Coordinator for Northern and Muchinga Provinces, Kambole Sikate, emphasized that it’s crucial not to disturb the bats in their new home. He explained the reason for their relocation, stating, “The bats used to be found somewhere in Chishimba area, but the people used to stone them, so they shifted to National Heritage and Conservation Commission offices.”

Kasama residents have expressed mixed feelings about the presence of the migratory bats in their district. Drussilah Gondwe, who has observed the annual influx of bats, conducted research to confirm that these mammals are fruit bats. She explained, “I’m aware that the bats come here from Congo between October and December in search of fruits.”

Francis Mukuka, another resident, praised the bats for bringing a special spectacle to the area and suggested that this could be promoted as a tourism attraction. He said, “I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Tourism to protect these bats for tourism purposes.”

Frank Bwembya marveled at the sheer number of bats in Kasama and described them as a divine blessing. He suggested, “These bats are on a mission; I’m sure they have been sent by God, which is a blessing in disguise.”

As these winged visitors continue their annual migration to Kasanka National Park, the Ministry of Tourism’s call to safeguard and celebrate them highlights the potential for this natural wonder to become a unique tourist attraction, enriching the local community and fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I am sure we have scientists in area who can tag these bats with geolocators.
    So that there location, journeys, behavior etc can be analysed. Whether there is any threat to health a well as the environment.

  2. We should all be lovers of nature because we are after all just another element in it. Creatures such as crocodiles see nothing special in us. They just see another item on their menu. We die just like all lifeforms and in that way nature renews itself. It’s wonderful to sit and observe small crawling insects wander all over the place after the first rain in the tropics.

  3. These bats are also seen in Kansenshi, Northrise, town area and surrounding areas in Ndola…in fact thery nest in trees in kasenshi and northrise.

  4. Hh has been told by the west to effect a population control on Zambians. They tell you eat bats so that new corona kill you zambians

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    • BaLusaka Times why do you allow such nonsense from KZ? Kids are following this topic with a lot interest.
      Some of us when we try this s h I t you never publish it.

    • First of all how can you expect Lusaka times to post your rubbish when you call yourself a pompwe. You are a f00Iish boy

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  5. Maybe it’s good to let the bats be though they are gourmet food for some parts of the world but in Zambia we’re very picky about what we eat! Bats are also good for insect controls

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