Thursday, September 5, 2019

Are sugar gliders good pets

Are sugar gliders good pets

Are sugar gliders good pets
Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are tiny marsupials that are part of the possum family Petauridae. They're native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, and there are often compared to flying squirrels. Though the two have similar bodies and coloration, large black eyes, and they "fly" in the same way, sugar gliders have more in common with other marsupials like kangaroos.
But unlike flying squirrels, which are native to a number of regions around the world, sugar gliders have become, for better or worse, popular exotic pets.

Sugar glider habitat

Most sugar gliders are very social, nocturnal animals. They live in small colonies with a half dozen to 10 adults and kids. They spend most of their time high in the trees where they find food and shelter. They use a complex scent-based communication system — each animal "marks" with his or her signature scent, and the dominant male marks his family members with his saliva.
But sugar gliders also communicate via sounds the San Diego Zoo describes as "yapping, barking, buzzing, droning, hissing and screaming." Each noise means something different. For instance, a sugar glider may hiss at another to tell him to get out of the way, and they make soft purring sounds when they're content.
Their reproduction process is similar to that of kangaroos and other marsupials. After 15 to 17 days of gestation, sightless and furless sugar-glider joeys crawl from their mother's uterus into her outer pouch to develop further. Mothers have one to two joeys per litter.
Those joeys don't grow to be very big either. The average sugar glider is only about 9 to 12 inches (22 to 30 centimeters) long, from head to the tip of the tail. (Their body is about 5 to 6 [12 to 15] of those inches.)And these little fellas don't weigh much either; full-grown males top out at about 5 ounces (141 grams) and females at about 4 ounces (113 grams). Their average lifespan in the wild ranges between 3 to 9 years, and they have been known to live more than 17 years in captivity.
And boy are they cute. Sugar gliders are covered in pale gray to light brown fur, with lighter coloring on their bellies. They sport a dark stripe spanning from their forehead and down their spine. They have soft pink noses, pink paw pads, and large ears and eyes for nighttime navigation.
Now as far as that name, sugar glider. It comes from the fact that, well; they glide (more on that in a minute). But the sweet amplifier of their name is a reference to their nutritional preferences, specifically their love of nectar, pollen, tree sap, and other natural delicacies. But these palm-sized marsupials also reportedly dine on spiders, insects, lizards and even small birds.

Sugar glider flying

Now the facts: Like flying squirrels, sugar gliders don't truly fly. As their name suggests, they glide — often from tree to tree — thanks to a thin membrane called the patagium which extends from their forelegs to their hind legs. The membrane creates "wings" that serve as a sort of steerable hang glider or parachute, and their tails serve as rudders.
Catching air allows them to evade predators, reach food sources, get from "here" to "there" without touching the ground, and likely have an enjoyable time doing it. Sugar gliders have been observed soaring more than 160 feet (48 meters) — more than half the length of a football field! They're also just one of three mammals with this ability ("flying" squirrels and "flying lemurs" being the other two).

Are sugar gliders good pets
Sugar Glider

Sugar glider as pets

Sugar gliders are adorable and have pleasant temperaments. This combination — not to mention their fondness for flying — has made them ideal to be bred and marketed as indoor exotic pets in the United States and elsewhere. But there's a lot of controversy around domesticating them, and not everybody is on board. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) are just a few organizations that don't recommend them as pets.
"Many people who buy sugar gliders on a whim come to realize that their home is simply an unsuitable environment for this type of animal," PETA says in a statement. The main reason, the organization says, is that keeping a sugar glider cooped in a cage denies them of what's natural to them, most importantly companionship (remember they're a super social species) the outdoors, and the ability to climb and soar through the trees.

Sugar glider baby

Sugar glider baby

Raising baby sugar gliders, called joeys, on your own can be a wonderful experience if you know how to properly do it. You need to provide them with proper housing and a nutritional diet. You also need to be able to wean them off baby food. By researching and learning about these three subjects and by providing unconditional love and care, your baby sugar glider will grow into a happy, healthy adult.

When sugar gliders are babies, they are susceptible to chills, so it is necessary to keep them warm. You can keep them in a pouch that you wear underneath your shirt during the day. At night, you should keep them in a brooder. To make a brooder, purchase two Kritter Keepers that are the same size. Pour about 3 inches of water in one and place an aquarium heater in the water. Place the other keeper into the one that has water and line it with bedding and towels. The baby will most likely curl up into the towel that has become very warm. Another way to keep them warm is by placing their small covered cage on a heating pad. Only put one end on the heating pad though to make sure they are able to get away from the heat if they want to. Keep them in the brooder until they are 6 weeks old. By this age, they will be able to generate enough body heat to keep themselves warm.

Sugar glider care

Nutrition for a baby glider, just as with human babies, is different than the food they eat as adults. Joeys need the formula to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need. You can make a glider formula at home. To do this, you will need equal amounts of First Born puppy milk, chicken with apple baby food, vanilla yogurt make sure it has live cultures), Leadbeater's egg mix, and rice with banana baby cereal that is diluted with apple juice. Feed this mixture to the baby at room temperature and administer it to them through a dropper.

Sugar glider diet

Lastly, you must learn how to properly wean the babies off baby food and teach them to eat different foods. The goal is to have them eat a variety of foods. To do this, make 3 or 4 little bowls of different food and put it in the brooder. Some things you may consider feeding them are applesauce, turkey with sweet potato baby food, other flavors of baby cereal, or different fruit flavors of yogurt. Try to make the consistency of these foods vary so that you can encourage them to try new things. Once they begin to take to the soft foods, start introducing a dish of soft pellet foods. This will help the joeys learn how to chew their food. During the first couple of months, you will most likely waste a lot of food, but this is normal. The main goal is to introduce the baby to a variety of foods and find out what he likes and doesn't like.

By following these general guidelines, you can ensure that you are giving your baby the best possible care. Use the Internet or your veterinarian to discuss housing, feeding, and weaning options in more detail.

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