33-year-old bat charms social media with his "flying" videos

ByAlicia Vitarelli WPVI logo
Friday, February 5, 2021
Elderly fruit bat becomes internet star
An adorable, elderly bat is soaring to new social media heights, thanks to his love of fake flights, fruit salad, and hugs.

We want you to meet our friend... well, the world's friend.

His name is Statler, and he is a fruit bat turned internet superstar.

He enjoys warm hugs, warm sponge baths, fruit salad and flying... sort of.

Statler is an old dude... believed to be the oldest living fruit bat in captivity.

While he can't fly on his own, his caretakers make it happen.

His fans around the globe are cheering him on.

The adorable Indian Flying Fox goes on simulated flights where he "steers" like he did in his younger and more sprightly years.

Statler is 33, which is ancient by bat standards.

He lives in the "geribatric" ward at Bat World Sanctuary in Weatherford, Texas, a non-profit that cares for bats that can't be released into the wild.

They say when they got him, he had trust issues and was standoffish.

He only had one eye and they had to give him quite the manicure.

But now he's super spoiled, getting nice spa baths, sunbathing with a massage, and giving big, ol' bat hugs.

And his birthdays are epic, filled with fruit juice!

Statler also gets arthritis medication daily and all the fruit he can eat.

Statler turns 34 in April and of course, they're planning a big party.

This is retirement at its finest.