Discover Davao : Monfort Bat Sanctuary

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Montfort Bat Sanctuary has been the home of a large colony of 2.3 million Rousette fruit bats since recorded history. They cover 75% of the ceilings and walls of their 245 ft (75 m)-long cave.[2] The sanctuary is located on Samal Island, about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of Davao City, Philippines. According to Guinness World Records, it is the largest single colony of this kind.

Fruit bats are an extremely popular type of bat that can also be called megabats. The bats originate from tropical regions of the Old World. They don't hibernate and since they dislike the cold, tropical regions suit them best. Fruit bats diet includes fruit and nectar. During their Circadian flight, fruit bats gather 1.5 to 3 times their body weight in food. Certain types of fruit bats have short jaws and powerful teeth to pierce into fruit. Others have long tongues and snouts to reach pollen and nectar. They can search up to 30 mi (48 km) to find food. Some types of fruit bats can have a 5 feet wing span, the largest of all bats. Other fruit bats only have a 6 centimeter long wing span. All but a few types of fruit bats are nocturnal. The ones occupying The Monfort Bat Sanctuary are nocturnal. These bats are quite rare because they are killed for food. Other predators include crows, rats, 10 ft (3.0 m)-long pythons, and lizards. Usually fruit bats can survive these creature attacks. Their major predators are feral dogs and cats. (via)
From our resort, it took us about 30 minutes to get to Monfort Bat Sanctuary. We rented a habal for all the destinations will be going to for the day, and we paid the driver P700. The driver also happens to be working for the resort we were staying in--and we were drinking with him the night before, lol. As mentioned, we practically had the resort to ourselves since we were the only guests so we decided to drink with kuya, hehe. 

Entrance fee is at a P100 and we were told to wait for our tour guide. We had an educational orientation about how the family who owned the place came up with the sanctuary, bits and pieces of information about bats and how they behave, etc. We were also told they allow bat viewing at night but it comes with a different price, and it's also rare as there are tons of bats that can crowd the place. 

Once we were done with the orientation, the guide kept on telling us about the pungent smell of the place. This is due to the waste excretion of bats. We had a total of 5 'holes' to visit. At first I thought the entrance fee wasn't worth it since we'll only be seeing 5 holes. But as soon as I saw how deep the holes were, I eventually reconciled with the fact that it's worth it. At first I wasn't bothered with the smell, but as we went further, the placed reeked of bat excrement that I had to cover my nose and mouth. It was amazing seeing all the bats sleeping in one place; moreso flocked together! At one point I was cringing while looking at the bats because they were are clumped together, lol. 

Once we're done with the tour, we walked downhill to find ourselves staring at a beach overlooking the port of Samal. You can swim on the beach, although the part where we were walking was a bit rocky and full of dry coconut leaves. You can walk a little further if you want to swim. We were fine just looking at the picturesque view from where we were standing. The view reminded me so much of the bay area in the series Dexter. Watch the video to see more of what we experience at Monfort Bat Sanctuary! 

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