Sugar Glider

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Sugar Glider

Post by jclot.. » Thu, 18 May 1995 04:00:00

Can anyone provide information or lead to information on the tiny marsupial
with the common name "sugar glider" indigenous to Australia and of apparently
growing interest as a pet in the USA?


Sugar Glider

Post by Tim Huss » Fri, 19 May 1995 04:00:00

In article


> Can anyone provide information or lead to information on the tiny marsupial

> with the common name "sugar glider" indigenous to Australia and of apparently

> growing interest as a pet in the USA?

I seem to be the only owner of a glider on the net who knows anything
about them (3/4 of my e-mail has just been answering glider questions),
but I'm more than willing to help anyone who has questions.  The following
should help......

        Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps -- same family as kangaroos and
koalas) are small aborial (live in trees) marsupials originally from New
Guinea and Australia and have been raised in captivity as pets in Europe
for quite awhile.  Only recently have they been "discovered" and bred fro
the pet market in the U.S.  Their name comes from their love of sweet sap
and fruit and their gliding membrane that stretches from their wrists to
their ankles.  They use the membrane to glide from tree to tree, as flying
squirrels do.
        In captivity, their cages should be made from nothing larger than
1" X 1/2" welded wire or the babies will escape and get into things.  The
cage should have a wire bottom and a slide-out tray to catch the
droppings.  Large bird cages work well but should be no smaller tahn 20" X
20" X 20".  Thier cage needs to have several non-toxic  (any fruit trees
are great) branches for them to climb on.  The branches should be live
(dormant in winter is fine) not dead branches nor dowel rods.  They will
debark the branches looking for sap.  The branches also help keep their
teeth and gums in good shape.  When the branches have become seriously
debarked, replace them with new ones.  Sugar Gliders are nocturnal and
need a nest box to sleep in during the day.  The temperature range should
be between 50 and 90 F and they should NOT BE PLACED IN DIRECT SUN!  In
the wild they would be protected from direct sun by the tree canopy they
live under.
        They need a diet of about 75% fruit and 25% protein.  Any fruit is
usually accepted but they are particularly fond of grapes, apples, pears,
melons, peaches, pineapples, figs, dates, etc., etc.  They also like sweet
vegetables like corn, sweet potatoes, and carrots.  it takes about 1/2 cup
a day of the chopped fruits/vegetables mix to keep a pair of Sugar Gliders
happy.   Add to that protein in the form of high quality dry cat food.  I
use IAMS cat food, and my Gliders loves several different flavors (they
love variety).  They love non-fact yogurt, with or without fruit, and
cottage cheese.  I usually feed mine a tropical fruit mix daily, combined
with fresh fruit, and rotate either yogurt or mealworms.  Also, I give him
two drops of Avitar (a bird vitamin supplement) every 3 or 4 days to
provide amino acids, which they need a lot of.
        Most Sugar Gliders will begin breeding somewhere between 7 months
to a year, with some waiting until they are 13 to 14 months old.  They
will mate year round, provided they have enough protein.  They usually
have 2 babied at a time, 4 to 6 babies a year, if weanlings are removed.
The gestation period is about 16 days.  Once birthed they are carried in
the maternal pouch for 2.5 to 3 months.  When they are out of the pouch,
covered with fur, have their eyes open and have been eating solid food for
3-4 weeks they are 3/4 grown, independent and ready to ween.  After babies
are out of the pouch, furred and have their eyes open, they can be gently
handled for short periods of time.  Be sure not to remove them from the
pouch before this time because once they are removed from the ***, they
cannot reattach themselves.  When they are weaned, they should be gently
handled frequently and gently, if they are to be pets.
        After they are handled by one person, they seem to know who they
belong to and will make threatening, chatting noises if placed on the
shoulder of a stranger.  They do not need to be taught to glide, but once
they are weaned and bonded to a human, they can be gently "pitched" into a
towel or from person to person and they seem to like it.  Many of them
will help launch themselves by kicking off with their feet as they are
pitched.  Others will roll up in a ball in preparation for launching.  If
they don't like being pitched they will hold on and try not to be launched
and those animals should probably not be pitched.  This is all done gently
and over small distances and only after they are imprinted on their owner
or they won't hang around to be pitched the second time.  You'll find that
a crumpled up paper towel will give them a night full of fun and they will
probably carry it to bed with them to use as a pillow.

Please feel free to e-mail me with any additional question & I will try to
answer as many as time permits.  Look out later for a glider web page (it
may be a while).....  (^:

-Tim Hussey


Sugar Glider

Post by Tien-Yee Ch » Sat, 20 May 1995 04:00:00

Before getting a sugar glider make sure they're legal in your state.
California won't let you have them, for example...

Tien Chiu