If you ever have been to the Philippines, you would have probably heard or have been warned by the locals (especially old people that who lived in rural areas) to not go out during the night. The ‘aswangs’ and other Filipino mythical creatures lurk in the cover of the dark looking for some tasty victims.
One of these many ‘creatures’ is the ‘kikik.’ This creature but it described as looking like a giant bird/bat. The ‘kikik’ prowls the night looking for pregnant women. The giant bat-like monster would devour the fetus inside the womb by using a long proboscis. While doing this abominable act, a ‘kik-kik-kik’ would be heard.
Like most folk tales and legends, the ‘kikik’ may be based on an actual animal. Folks, let me introduce you to the ‘Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox.’ This giant bat is nocturnal and with its giant wing span and eerie sound, this animal may be the inspiration of the ‘kikkik’ and other scary mythical creatures.
One of these scary creatures was spreading fear in a small town in the Philippines. People who had the chance to encounter the giant bat flying were terrified. When the Philippine troops captured the creature, the giant bat was a sight to behold. Local people even referred to it as the ‘Chupacabra,’ a creature that feeds on the blood of animals.
The giant bat can travel at least 25 miles in a night to look for food. It feeds on figs and fruits such as puhutan, lamio, banka, tangisand, bayawak and other strangler figs not fetus and blood like the legends say (lucky for us!).
These fruit bats have no tails, and can grow up to 1.5-1.7 meters in length and their wingspan can reach up to 1.8 meters. They can weigh from 0.7-1.2 kilograms. The Acerodon jubatus are the largest bat species in the world and they are not related to foxes as their name suggest.
These giant bats are also called the ‘Silent Planters’ because these species are known to scatter the seeds of the fruits they eat in their droppings all over their territories. This act makes giant golden-crowned flying-foxes very vital to the ecosystem. They are known to live in colonies to avoid predators but because of their stigma as fetus-eating creatures, they are hunted to near extinction. And, the destruction of their habitat greatly reduced the numbers of these fascinating animals. The giant bat species is listed as endangered species and there is now a conscious effort to protect, preserve and breed these fascinating creatures.
But the Philippines is not only home to giant bats, the country also boasts of its Monfort Bat Colony. The bat colony is home to over 3 million (as of 2014 and growing) bats according to the Bat Conservation International. In fact, the Monfort Cave in the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte was entered in the Guinness World Records in 2006 as the home of the largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat (Rousetteus amplexicaudatus).
For those who have brave hearts can visit the bat colony in the beautiful island of Samal (you can also visit the island’s gorgeous beaches while there). Visitors should be prepared because of the overwhelming stench and odor that is due to the wastes of the bats. The bats’ wastes, although bad-smelling, are quite useful for farmers. The wastes are called the “King of Fertilizers.”
Check out the amazing pictures of the Monfort Bat Colony below.
Here are videos of these amazing bats:
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