Are You considering a Sugar Glider as a pet? I have composed a list of interesting facts, and realities of Pet Sugar Gliders.
1. Sugar Gliders are not flying squirrels, they are more closely related to opossums. They do not fly, but can glide long distances with the help of skin folds along their body, and their tail is used as a rudder. They are not native to the United states and in fact are illegal in some states and cities.
2. Sugar Gliders are marsupials which means their babies (joeys) are born premature and finish their development in the pouch, much like a kangaroo.
3. Sugar gliders are active at night (nocturnal) . This means that when kept as pets, they might not appreciate handling and activity in the home during the day time hours. This can make them difficult to handle, especially for children. They also have the tendency to be active at night when humans are sleeping, which leads to other concerns when having them in our home. They require lots of exercise and enrichment during their active times.
4. Sugar Gliders eat an omnivorous (mixed meat and vegetable) diet. In the wild they are active foragers and eat a lot of bark and sap, they sometimes prey on small reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds . These animals also eat a lot of pollen and are very involved in the pollination of flowers. This diet for captive animals is difficult , expensive, and labor intensive, and if not fed an appropriate diet, they will often succumb to a number of diseases including dental disease, calcium related metabolic illness, obesity, liver and heart disease.
5. Sugar Gliders live in groups called colonies. This means that you will need to purchase more than one glider if you are planning to have one as a pet. When kept solitary, gliders do not well and can suffer from depression which can result in death.
6. Sugar Gliders are quick moving and can easily escape in your home. This can make the vulnerable to attack from cats and dogs who live in the home.
Please consider all of these points when thinking of getting a sugar glider as a pet. Some other great references are: