What is a Sugar Glider?

“Sugar Gliders” are small animals belonging to the class Mammalia and subclass Marsupialia, the members of which are commonly known as marsupials. Marsupium is the Latin word for “pouch” seen in these animals, hence the name “marsupials”. Baby Sugar Gliders are also known as “Joeys”. When born they are around the size of a grain of rice. As mentioned earlier, these marsupials spend the first few weeks of their lives inside their mother’s pouch i.e. marsupium (just like a baby Kangaroo). When they grow up entirely, they are about five to seven inches in length (excluding the length of their tail) and finally weigh around 6 ounces.  The order of this species is Diprotodontia, and suborder is phalangerids. They are part of the family Petauridae the same as of a Kangaroo or Koala Bear. The genus is Petaurus, and the species’ biological name is P. Breviceps.

Where do Sugar Gliders come from?

They originally hail from the rainforests of Australia and Indonesia. In the wild, they mainly live in trees in the form of “colonies” of ten to fifteen other Gliders. What makes them famous is the good reputation they have gained as pets.  They have been domestically reared as household pets in the United States for the last twelve to fifteen years.

Why are they called Sugar gliders?

The name “Sugar Gliders” is attributed to the fact that these marsupials are fond of feeding on almost anything that is sweet in taste, specifically fresh fruit & vegetables. They have a gliding membrane (just like a flying squirrel) stretching from the wrist to the ankles, which permits them to glide(and not fly) from tree to tree.

Sugar Glider Care

Habitat of the Sugar Gliders

Since the sugar gliders prefer tall cages so they can glide around, a cage of at least 20″ x 20″ x 30″should be secured which must be properly ventilated. Large bird cages are an excellent alternative. The cage must have a birdhouse for sleeping with recycled or shredded paper as bedding to collect waste at the bottom. Hamster house with the same accessories will also do the trick. Heavy flat bottom bowls and dishes should be attached to the side of the cage so that the gliders may eat the drink. The gliders love to climb so some climbing branches should be installed as well to satisfy their love for climbing. To further entertain your glider, things like ladders, perches, bird toys and hard bone for chewing should be used. Tubing should also be installed so that your glider can explore it or use it as a hiding place.

Nutrition

The nutritional needs of the sugar gliders are not demanding. They need fresh vegetables and fruits to eat. The gliders also need a source for protein like tofu, yogurt, and small pieces of cooked meat or cottage. The live insects and nuts seem to be one of the favorites of the sugar gliders so crickets, mealworms and nuts, raw and unsalted, can be given to the gliders as a delicacy. The Calcium and multivitamin with d3 supplement cover the missing nutritional needs of the sugar gliders.

Sugar Gliders longetivity?

Life Span in captivity of Sugar gliders is up to ten to fifteen years if they are looked after properly. In this regard the Important Stuff includes precautions like:
•    Don’t leave the toilet seat up! Because gliders drown very fast. Cover all large drain holes.
•    ALWAYS have water available for your glider to drink.
•    The food must always be readily accessible in pellets or fresh fruit (e.g. Apples, grapes, or oranges).
•    Do not feed them chocolate, house plants or any chemicals or toxins.
•    One point to remember is that calcium deficiency in these marsupials can cause paralysis and even kill them. Provide your pet glider with vitamin and calcium supplements.
Watch the following stuff, if the deviations are seen, consult a vet immediately:
•    The standard weight range is from 90 to 150 grams; males weigh more, though. Look for deviations
•    Healthy eyes are black without any flecks of white/clouding. Eyes should be bright, alert, and responsive.
•    A lively nose color is pink and moist without any discharge or crust. Noisy breathing is a sign of abnormality.
•    Gums and membranes must have a pink tinge, without any lesions, and must not be dry.
•    The ear must return to the original shape. Wax must not be present in the ear. Check for the presence of ear mites.
•    Feet must be soft and pink. Look for injuries. Trim its toenails using a small toenail clipper, or a Sandy Trimmer Wheel.
•    The coat must be smooth with no missing patches.
•    Beware of the illnesses commonly seen in gliders e.g. Diabetes, pneumonia, urinary tract issues, and other diseases. As Gliders show signs of illness only when nearing death,  therefore you need to react fast when abnormalities are detected.

Sugar Gliders as pets

Wondering how are the Sugar Gliders as pets? Do you want to get one but you are undecided and can’t figure out if they are a right investment? Read onward to find out more about what do you need to offer them and all the characteristics that you need to focus on when owning such a pet!
Cost
Sugar Gliders as pets can be fantastic, but acquiring one can be very expensive, up to around $150 or sometimes even more. This is why you should check your budget beforehand and see if you can afford one.
Diet
The Sugar Gliders require a restricted diet, so you do need to prepare that for them. The food they need is not simple as the one of a cat or dog. Instead, you will need to offer a diet that consists out of mealworms, crickets, grubs and other similar bugs.
Housing
Since these animals live in treetops so basically the Sugar Gliders as pets need to be kept in an aviary. The regulations of various countries focus on stating a specific cage size, so you should focus on finding the right size for your animal. They need a lot of room since they glide from one place to another all the time, so plenty of space is a necessity.
Smell
Sugar Gliders have a particular scent and can be quite smelly. They have glands located on their bodies that will emit a scent and even though the smell might not be as high as the one from a skunk; it’s still quite powerful, so you need to clean up and add in fresh air into your room all the time.
Noise
These animals are noisy and many times they will extricate their bowels when they wake. You can also expect pee and poo on your clothes because they have a habit of exploring new locations, so when you keep them in your arms they can be quite hazardous.
Reproduction
They can reproduce 3-4 times a year, and there is no particular reproduction period with the males and females being able to do such a thing all the time.
Biting
The Sugar Gliders as pets do tend to bite sometimes, and because of that, you need to protect your skin when putting this animal, as it can quickly bite you.
Character
The Sugar Gliders as pets are very playful but as we said earlier they can bite you, so you should focus on studying more about their role in the online world. They are small and a pleasure to play with, however handling them can be quite difficult.
Maintenance Expenses
Aside from the purchase costs, the Sugar Gliders also require expensive maintenance. The entire process can be financially draining, so do expect to pour quite a lot of money for the overall health checks, food, and cleaning.
In the end, Sugar Gliders as pets can be amazing, and they can bring an extraordinary experience. Sure, they might not be the best ones out there, but they are cute and cuddly. If you want a Sugar Glider you can visit the pet store or get one online, either way, you can make a great investment, and the results will be significant in time!
How long do they take to bond?
The process of bonding takes anywhere from a few days to around two or three months. The time taken in bonding with their human families may vary for different Gliders.  Various tips and tricks are available on the internet for your help. However, the most important factor in your bonding with your Glider is their age, which is why mostly baby gliders are sold for pets when they are between eight and twelve weeks of age.

Sugar Glider facts for kids

There are many fun facts surrounding the sugar gliders. Their very name is derived from their love for sugar and their ability to glide in the air by jumping from one tree to another. They glide using webbed area between their body and back legs. The sugar glider is a pouched mammal like kangaroos. Upon reach adulthood and fully grown, they weigh only 4 ounces and can glide over 150 feet. When a sugar glider jumps from a tree, it spread its limbs and uses its gliding membranes, located between its wrists and ankles, to slow down its descent. This gliding is similar to that of a parachute. They can change their headed direction by using their tails like rudders. The joeys, baby sugar gliders, have to live for 60-70 days inside the pouch of their mothers before being able to survive outside of the pouch on their own. In the wild, the gliders live in the packs of 15 to 30 and live in trees. They use the holes in the old growth trees to make their nests and mark them with urine.

 

Read more articles here: