Archive: Detroit Zoological Society Provides Sanctuary for Animals Displaced by Bat Zone Closure

Rescued animals include bats, squirrels, sloth, frog

February 28, 2018

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is providing sanctuary to 61 animals in need of rescue after the sudden closure of Bat Zone in Pontiac.

Fifty-four bats of three species – straw-colored fruit bats, short-tailed fruit bats and Jamaican fruit bats – as well as five southern flying squirrels, a Linne’s two-toed sloth and a Cranwell’s horned frog are being moved to DZS facilities in the coming days.

“This is an unfortunate situation and we are doing everything we can to assist them in placing animals with facilities capable of ensuring their lifetime care, including taking in more than 60 of the animals at the Detroit Zoo,” said Dr. Randi Meyerson, deputy chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society.

The DZS has been working closely with other accredited institutions around the country to assist the Organization for Bat Conservation (which operated Bat Zone until its closure this week) to find appropriate homes for more than 200 animals. Habitats are being prepared at the Detroit Zoo to accommodate many of the animals. The animals will be under quarantine for at least 30 days before moving to mostly behind-the-scenes areas of the Zoo. The DZS is helping with placement of many of the other animals in Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited zoos and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries accredited sanctuaries.

The Detroit Zoological Society has a long history of providing sanctuary to exotic animals in need of rescue from private owners, pseudo-sanctuaries, roadside zoos and circuses. Past rescues include more than 1,000 exotic animals confiscated by authorities from an animal wholesaler in Texas, a polar bear from a tropical circus, lions found in abandoned urban homes and lions held in a junkyard in Kansas.

The rescue and care of these animals is being supported by the DZS Kalter/Lezotte Fund for Wildlife Rescue, which was established to facilitate the rescue of animals with the intent to provide sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo. The public can contribute to the fund by sending a check, made payable to the Detroit Zoological Society, to the Fund for Wildlife Rescue, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067, or by calling (248) 336-5704.