In front of the WWF house where I stay in Yangambi there is a large fig tree. It is full of fruit at the moment which attracts lots of birds, insects and - after dark - fruitbats. The other morning Michel and Bernard, our hosts, found a fruitbat at the base of the tree. It had not been dead for very long and showed no outward signs of harm. Many of the overripe figs have started to ferment and perhaps even in nature it is not a good idea to drink and fly at night. My zoologist colleague, Frederik, had already gone to the forest to empty his traps so I asked our hosts to keep it for him to see. After having caught nearly twohunderd shrews and mice, the sight of an interesting and different small mammal might be a welcome change. On his return Frederik indeed was quite pleased to see it, got his camera and photographed it. It would be a very nice addition to his collection of specimens but this obviously was not what Michel and Bernard had planned. Returning only a few minutes later Frederik found his new acquisition skinned, cut up and roasting over a small charcoal fire. Scientific data is all very nice but then there is lunch.
No human visitors appeared to have come to the Nyahokwe Ruins site in the communal lands below the Nyanga escarpment in eastern Zimbabw. The toilet block was used by goats to shelter against the rain and these bats had made their home there. Another one for Jakob from Afribats to ID and to use for their record database.