8-12 weeks The pups are now moved to an outside cage close to the house where it is easy to keep an eye on them. Fruit is introduced at this age, initially soft fruits like watermelon, rockmelon and pears. In the wild, the pups would have little or no access to fruit until they can fly at 3 months of age. We progress them onto softer varieties of red apple such as galas and dels rather than pink ladies. We hang all fruits on wire ‘necklaces’. This encourages work / play for their food. It is very important that the pups have lots of opportunities for climbing and flapping.
12-16 weeks The pups are moved to the large flight cage so they have plenty of space for flying. Here they learn many things including not to bother the resident adults. In the wild the pups would normally only be relating to their mother and peer group.
Release At about 450 gms of weight and a minimum of 140mm forearm length we move the orphans out to the forest for a soft release at the release cage. We move them out in groups of 10-30 until early April. Any young too small at this stage are held over until the following year. The Spectacled flying-fox colony sometimes leaves Tolga Scrub in the middle of the year, albeit only for short periods, but we don’t want these vulnerable pups left behind.