by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Home grown Guavas are not for Bats

Seven months back, it was the squirrels which were after the semi-ripe Guavas on the tree in our backyard.  Back then, they did a thorough job too - gobbling up almost every fruit on the tree.

Now in February, we have a different burglar to deal with, instead of the squirrels.  For the last couple of months, Chennai has been awash with fruit bats.  Fruit bats the size of a small cat.  If you are in Chennai go out to the terrace around 6 in the evening and take a look at the skies.  At first you might mistake them for some Night Herons (வக்கா) but in a few minutes you’ll realise they are actually bats.

To come back to point, every night a gang of them descend on the tree and have their merry way with the semi-ripe guava fruits.  While we in India may slice off the damaged half of a squirrel eaten fruit, it is dangerous to try that trick with a fruit partially eaten by bats.

If ever there was a doubt a recent research in bats [CDC Atlanta EID Journal, Feb 2013] of Bangladesh suggest that Fruit Bats may be reservoir of Filoviruses - like Ebola.  Even before, those same fruit bats were proved as the vectors for the deadly Nipah Virus, which they introduced into date palm sap collection pots at nights.

Thus chastened, the best option is to pluck those guavas before the bats can get to them.  So what if the guavas are semi-ripe?  There is always the rice bin at home to bury them in for a couple of days.  Then again, guavas are quite tasty even when they are semi-ripe.

So here is the haul of home grown guavas.


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