Pitara Kids Network

A Glider at the Railway Station

Where: Sarnath, India

December 11, 2008 : Passengers at the Sarnath Railway Station noticed that a paper box, left abandoned near a railway track, was behaving a little oddly. They alerted the railway authorities, who found that the box carried the inscription, “It is a rare animal, please send it to the zoo”. It was a Flying Lemur, a species native to China and the Philippines. The forest department sent a team that recovered the animal, identified it, and moved it to the local zoo.

Later, huge crowds of people turned up at the Sarnath Zoo hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare gliding mammal. The Forest Conservator, Mr. Hemant Kumar, told PTI that of all the gliding mammals, the Flying Lemur is the one most adapted to flight. Its distinctive membrane, that extends between its limbs, enables it to glide considerable distances – even up to 100 metres – in the air between treetops.

The Philippine Flying Lemur feeds on leaves, fruits and flowers, and it is considered a pest in its native habitat. It’s a mystery how this one found its way to Sarnath.