Weatherford

Videos of Texas Bat Who Can't Fly Take Off Online

Statler is a rescue bat at the Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford

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The non-profit Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford is home to about 400 rescue bats. One of them, an Indian Flying Fox bat named Statler, is getting a lot of attention for his "flying" videos.

"He can no longer fly on his own," Bat World Sanctuary Senior Director Emily Laszczak said. "We believe Statler to be the oldest living bat in captivity."

Statler will be 34 years old on April 28, and his advanced age comes with arthritis. Because Statler can't fly on his own, his handler carries him around the Sanctuary, like a parent playing 'airplane' with a small child.

"He just gets excited, and he's looking around flapping his wings," Laszczak said. "So that he thinks [he] himself is flying and making the turns on his own."

The sanctuary posts videos on its Twitter and Facebook pages, where they've had thousands of views.

"People have fallen in love with him. Those videos of him flying pull at people's heartstrings," Laszczak said. "They show the cuter side of bats, and that they're harmless and they do more good than evil."

Bats are pollinators and pest controllers. Bats that are native to North Texas are much smaller than Statler, who is the size of a small house cat.

Bat World Sanctuary is the only accredited bat sanctuary in the world.

"We let our bats be bats," Laszczak said.

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