Without really saying it out loud (until now), we've thought of the affectionate and feisty little Sugar Glider as a bit of a mini-super hero of the exotic pet world. Take a look at that stripy face (like a mask, right?), their nocturnal vision and their adventures (fighting against evil for the common good?), and of course, they can fly! (Well, glide... but glide quite far.)
Okay, so we're a little prone to flights of fancy
The translation of the Sugar Gliders Latin name Petaurus Breviceps is "short-headed rope-dancer" - pretty accurate once you see them getting their groove on and jumping/gliding about. They're also known as Sugar Bears or Honey Gliders. So you'd think they'd be keen on sweet stuff, right? Indeed they are! More on that later!
The Petaurus Breviceps is a marsupial (the females have pouches) originally hailing from Australia. They're a soft-furred possum, 15-18cm long, with a useful and expressive bushy, prehensile tail (approximately 18cm long). They're nocturnal, so bonding and playing will mostly happen after dark, although they're small enough to accompany you during the day in a pouch or pocket - how neat is that?
Their feet aren't quite suction pads but they're pretty nifty and hand-like, with an opposable toe on the hind foot (great for gripping). This little super-hero gets its gliding powers from the "patagium" - a thin, furred membrane stretching from the wrist to the ankle. In the wild they can glide for up to 50 metres or more, which brings us to...
Room to Gliiiiide
Setting up a lovely habitat for your Glider is quite a big investment but this is an area where you don't want to cut costs; the wrong cage can cause irreparable harm (is that alarmist enough for you?). While young Sugar Gliders will be fine in a large bird cage for the first few months, after that the minimum sized cage for a pair of gliders is 90cm high by 60cm wide, with no more than 1.3cm space between the bars. In fact, though, the bigger the better - just picture super-Sugar-Glider-rope-dancing and gliding for 50 metre stretches in the wild and you'll want to "go large".
Location, Location, Location
Get Your Bond On
Sugar Gliders need to be socialised. They've gotta whole lotta love to give and if you spend quality time with them they'll grow to trust you and form a strong bond - so... *responsibility* alert... you need to honour that trust. If you're patient, they'll eventually be putty in your hands (well, not exactly, but you know what we mean).
We strongly recommend that you only adopt from the ages of 8-12 weeks old, and because they're so sociable, taking two Sugar Gilders at the same time would be a winning combo.
Once you've bonded, and you will if you work at it, you'll have a mini-super hero for their lifetime
Love... and other stuff too