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Indian Flying Fox


Scientific NamePteropus giganteus
Common NameIndian Flying Fox / Giant Indian Fruit Bat, Gadal (Hindi), Vowval (Tamil)
DistributionThroughout India
Conservation StatusNot Evaluated

In religion and mythology

The Indian flying fox is considered sacred in some villages in both southern as well as the northern parts of our country. A colony of Indian flying foxes (which roost on a banyan tree) in a small village called Puliangulam, about 40 miles east of Madurai, Tamil Nadu is considered sacred by the local villagers. They associate the bat with a village deity named Muni, whose shrine is located beneath the banyan tree.

(Source: Marimuthu, G., “The Sacred Flying Fox of India – A few privileged colonies of flying foxes are protected by time-honored tradition”, BATS Magazine , Vol.6, No.2, 1988.)

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