METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) – If you’d like a pet that’s small enough to hold in your hand, you might consider an exotic pet known as a Sugar Glider. The challenge is, keeping it from gliding away!
At West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic and Bird Hospital, Dr. Gregory Rich says Sugar Gliders can become very comfortable around their owners.
“They’ll sit by you all night long,” he says, “they’re pretty easy to take care of but they don’t stop moving.”
In the wild, Sugar Gliders live in trees in Australia and New Zealand. There, they glide from branch to branch, using the webbing between their “arms” to sail through the air as far as ten feet in distance, using their tails like a rudder to steer them in the direction they want to go.
Sugar Gliders are marsupials, and prefer to spend most of their quiet time hiding in a hole or pouch. But they’re also sociable animals that like to interact with each other and their owners. Dr. Rich says they do best in large, bird-type cages, with artificial tree branches for exercise.
But most important is their diet. Dr. Rich says Sugar Gliders should be fed fruits and vegetables, supplemented with certain nutrients they can’t get in captivity.
Beyond that, Sugar Gliders are classified as “exotic” pets, which means that a potential owner must check with the local animal control agency to be sure that Sugar Gliders can be kept as pets.
Then watch them glide!