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Last Updated: Sunday March 02 2008 14:04 GMT

Bats cause flap at wildlife park

The babies clinging to their mothers
The babies clinging to their mothers

A colony of Egyptian fruit bats has caused a flap at a wildlife park in south-east England.

Keepers thought all of the 15 bats at Tropical Wings in Essex were females, but then EIGHT of them had babies.

It's hard to tell the difference between boy and girl bats, but it turns out there must be at least one male among them.

Staff say they're now going to take a closer look at the creatures to try to track down the dad of the new babies.

"This is a complete surprise," said a Tropical Wings spokesman.

Flying

"Males and females are difficult to tell apart, but now it seems we will need to take a closer look."

The babies cling to their mums for about six weeks. They start flying at three months and will be 8in long when fully grown.