The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a gliding possum native to eastern and northern parts of the Australian mainland. The species derives its name from its ability to glide over a distance of about 50 - 150 meters and its love for sweet food. It being a marsupial, has striking resemblance to other larger marsupials, like kangaroos and wombats.
Like other members of the marsupial family, the female sugar glider keeps its juvenile in its pouch for 60 - 70 days. That's quite fascinating in itself, considering that an adult sugar glider measures around 24 to 30 cm and weighs no more than 4 ounces.
How to Care for A Sugar Glider
The sugar glider is one of the most sought-after exotic pets in the world, and has needs that are specific and different from others. This, however, does not mean that it is difficult to keep it as a pet. If you intend to keep one as a pet, here are some things pertaining to their housing, feeding, and socializing needs, which you will have to take into consideration.
While choosing a house for your sugar glider, you need to remember that the animal fancies climbing. With this consideration in mind, get a cage that is tall and narrow, instead of one that is short and wide. Do not go for barbed wires; instead, opt for PVC or vinyl-coated wires. At the same time, you will also have to add various hanging toys, real wood branches, perches, and hanging food dish to the cage. Also ensure that your pet has a constant supply of clean water in its cage.
One common problem with exotic pets like the sugar glider, is that they are vulnerable to calcium deficiency, which can lead to hind leg paralysis (HLP), and therefore, you have to pay special attention to their diet when you keep them as pets. Experts recommend servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, cereals, live insects, like crickets and meal worms, and calcium supplements. These gliders don't prefer the same kind of food every day, and that's something that you need to take a serious note of.
Yet another important attribute of sugar glider care is bonding. It is one of those animals who are extremely social and bond really well. You will have to spend a considerable time playing with your furry pet on a daily basis. There are several cases of gliders dying of diseases caused by depression and isolation. So ensure that you have enough time to spare for your glider friend, and help him get used to his new home and family. If experts are to be believed, you should help your pet to get used to your scent. You can do this by leaving your piece of clothing in its cage. Since this creature bonds by scent, this is your best bet as far as bonding in concerned.
If you can afford to spare enough time to spend with your pet, then the idea of keeping a sugar glider as a pet is definitely perfect. If not, then you might as well give it a second thought right now.