Nine Grey-headed Flying Foxes now live at Potoroo Palace. They came from the Pambula Conservation Area, known as Batty Towers. Over the years, many injured and orphaned Flying Foxes have come to the hospital aviary there. Many have recovered and been released back into the colony which camps there between February and May in years when there is a mass flowering of bloodwoods.
The nine who have come to Potoroo Palace are ones who have repeatedly been offered the opportunity of leaving to join the wild Flying Foxes via the release door of the aviary, which is opened at dusk each night while the colony is in residence at Pambula, and closed at dawn. They have chosen not to go. In eight cases this is because their injuries from barbed wire, loose netting over fruit trees, or electrocution have been too severe for them to heal enough to enable them to fly again. In one case it is because an orphan, Phoebe, was inappropriately reared by a well-meaning, but inexperienced, carer and was unable to wean herself from humans.
When visitors come to look at the Flying Foxes, the Flying Foxes stare back at them. They have very pretty furry faces and bright eyes. It is easy to see how intelligent they are. They are interested in everything that is going on around them. It is as if they need to get to know each new person. They play with the keepers who come into their aviary, and take banana pieces very delicately so as not to bite them. Sometimes they stretch out a wing and hold onto the keeper’s hand with their thumb hook.
They have a lot of family arguments, but they never hurt each other.