Suz' Sugar Gliders Through the Years

I have always loved squirrels. I know that sugar gliders are not squirrels, but during the fall of 1999, a co-worker asked me if I could take her "sugar gliders - kind of like little flying squirrels". She had recently had a baby and wasn't able to give them the attention they needed anymore. Upon further inquiry, she told me she had gotten them from an exotic pet store three years earlier. I told her I would take them and we made arrangements for me to pick them up. 


Upon arrival, I found them in a small bird cage that had two small shelves. There was a tube sock in the bottom that the gliders were in. She rolled the top of the sock down and they started to make this loud, rhythmic sound that was much like an electric pencil sharpener. Later I learned that sound is called "crabbing". As the gliders were exposed, I saw cute little grey heads peeking up at me. My heart turned over and I was instantly in love with Reggie and Bobo. They were both intact males.


She told me their diet consisted of fruit cocktail and dry cat food. I knew that couldn't possibly be a proper diet for any animal, so I started to research. There was little information available at the time, but the owner of an exotic pet store told me to feed them fruits, vegetables and crickets with calcium sprinkled on top. Reggie and Bobo didn't like their new diet very much and refused to eat the crickets with the calcium on them. They would happily eat plain crickets, but as soon as they were powdered, it was "no go". 


One night I was awakened by a high-pitched barking. It sounded like there was a chihuahua in the house, so I got up to investigate. I was surprised to discover that it was my little gliders, sitting on a shelf, barking away! Reggie & Bobo used to do loop-de-loops in their cage at night, springing from one shelf to the next, to the top, going round and round. This made me realize that their cage was too small, so I purchased a larger bird cage for them. They were much happier in their new cage. 


Sadly, in late April of 2001, Bobo became very sick. He was barely able to move and dragged his back legs some. I took him to the vet who diagnosed him as having a bacterial infection. He gave me some antibiotics and liquid calcium to administer, but it was too late. Bobo died later that week. Two weeks later, Reggie died, too. I was heartbroken. I started doing more research and with recently acquired internet access, I found a site that described Hind Leg Paralysis (a.k.a. metabolic bone disease). I recognized the symptoms right away and knew that my little gliders had suffered from that as well as the infection. I decided that I wasn't going to get anymore gliders until I had learned more about their needs. 

DaisyMae ~
oop June 28, 2002

Gizmo ~ 
oop in July 2003

I adopted Gizmo from a young woman in MI in July, 2005. She said he was about two years old at that time. Gizmo is a very sweet glider who loves to be cuddled in his pouch. He was with his long-time cage mate, Allira (oop July 15, 2004), since the day I brought him home. It was love at first sight! After a few unsuccessful breeding attempts, I had Gizmo neutered. Sadly, Allira passed away on March 15, 2015, leaving Gizmo all alone again. Although I tried to introduce him to a new little female joey, he had no interest whatsoever. If he couldn't have his Allira, he didn't want anyone. I have been very blessed to have this sweet little guy for the past 11 of his 13 years. I hope and pray that I have a few more...

Picasso 
oop Jan. 20, 2012 

TrinityJoy
oop Dec. 5, 2010

Luna

 

Luna was one of Pepe & Bittah's very first joeys and came oop on September 26, 2003. Originally adopted by my husband's cousin Alice, she came back to live with us in the fall of 2006. She was been reunited with Pepe & Bittah and lived with them until their deaths in 2012. Luna is a very sweet glider. She is also my tiniest glider at only 76 grams.

 

Coobah & Carina

Coobah is a handsome male glider who came o.o.p. on May 15, 2003. He is Pika & Cricky's son. He has a beautiful silver coat, and although he is on the smaller side for a male at only 92 grams, he makes up for size with speed & agility. It is so fun to watch him play in the small trees in my yard (as pictured). I don't worry about him running away because he is so well bonded to me, that even while I'm taking pictures of him, he is trying to jump onto me.

Carina is a very beautiful glider! Adopted from The Glider Playroom in NE Ohio in October, 2004, she was a very loving, wonderful mother (Coobah has now been neutered). She loved her joeys so much that she kept them in her pouch for an extra week or so. Carina (pictured below) is always the first glider to come out to see me each night when it's time for the gliders' breakfast! 

Carina and Coobah forage for mealies, Spring 2007

Nara & Cleo

Nara was adopted on December 16, 2006 from Elisabeth at My Sugar High in order to be Pika's new companion after Cricky passed away. Pika had been very grief-stricken and she fell in love with little Nara right away. My only White Face glider, Nara is a very beautiful little girl. After Pika's passing in March, 2007, Nara was lonely. Nara was successfully introduced to Darwin that summer and lived happily with him in their half of the Glider Condo. After Darwin passed away in April, 2011, Nara was introduced to Cleo. The two girls are very happy together. 

Cleo at just 15 grams - 5 weeks out of pouch

Cleo was adopted by me when Nicole Bustamante's glider was not providing enough milk for both her & her twin brother. At 5 weeks out of pouch, Cleo was a meager 15 grams. I drove to Nicole's and picked Cleo up to hand raise her. She has been with me ever since. Cleo has a very sweet personality and my daughter-in-law carries both her and Nara with her daily to help with her anxiety disorder. I truly believe that gliders can make wonderful service animals for those suffering from this disorder. The person can focus on the gliders rather than the situation they are in. 

Nara took care of Pika at the end when Pika could no longer care for herself. Here they are on their last day together 

 

Rest In Peace: Cricky & Pika

(a.k.a. Grampa & Gramma)

When I adopted Cricky & Pika in January, 2003, Pika had a female joey in-pouch. On February 13, 2003, Bungobittah came out-of-pouch and is now my best breeding mother! Within a month, Pika was pregnant again and on May 22, 2003, Coobah came out-of-pouch. He is now the father of Carina's joeys. Since Cricky & Pika had Coobah, they did not have any more joeys. However, they were the proud grandparents of all joeys bred by Suz' Sugar Gliders! Sadly, Cricky passed away on November 20, 2006 and Pika passed away on March 12, 2007. They both lived very long lives and I was privileged to have them in my heart & home for their last 4 years here on earth. Since I was their 3rd or 4th home, at least, I do not know exactly when they came oop. However, based on my knowledge of them, I believe that they were about 13 years old when they passed away. I still miss them and always will. 

This is my beautiful Pika at sunrise in West Virginia just a few days after Cricky passed away.

 Rest in Peace, Darwin

06/01/01 - 4/22/2011
 

Darwin was a neutered male who came out of pouch on 06/01/01. I adopted him from Karen at The Pampered Glider in June, 2007 in the hopes of housing him with Mareki. Although they were together for about two weeks, Mareki had too much of an Alpha personality and they had to be separated. Darwin then decided that he wanted to be Nara's companion instead and they were successfully introduced to each other that July. Although Darwin had lived in three different homes since he left his original breeder, he had a very sweet temperament and loved everyone he met - he never met a stranger! He continued to be Mareki's friend through the mesh of their reptariums and in Sept. 2007, Teresa (Dancing Water Designs) custom-made a Glider Condo Reptarium so that Mareki could be housed in one half of it and Darwin & Nara in the other half to eliminate the physical complications of Mareki's Alpha personality. Sadly, Darwin passed away on April 22, 2011 - necropsy showed that he had liver cancer. Darwin is deeply missed.

Rest in Peace, Mareki

2/14/2003 - 3/09/2011

Mareki was DaisyMae's first joey. She looked almost identical to her mommy, and I would have to look carefully to know who I was holding! She came o.o.p. on Valentine's Day - February 14, 2003. She matched her birth date in that she was a very lovable, huggable glider. Mareki used to be my "fluffiest" glider, weighing in at a whopping 202 grams at her heaviest - she was down to about 172 grams at her last vet app't. Mareki was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Sept. 2007 and was on thyroid replacement therapy for the rest of her life. Mareki was a Special Needs glider because she had a recurrent problem with Self Mutilating her patagiums and her chest. It was in an effort to determine the root cause of the Self Mutilation that testing was done and the hypothyroidism was found. Mareki was only the second glider ever to be officially diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Although this may have been a factor in her Self Mutilation, sadly stress seemed to be the root cause of it. After we placed her in a special Glider Condo so that she could have companionship without direct physical contact with her cage mates - Darwin & Nara, she stopped Self Mutilating. This worked very well for her and seemed to keep her content. Sadly, Mareki passed away during the night on 3/09/2011. She lived for 8 wonderful years with us. I miss her deeply. 

 

Rest in Peace: Pierre & Bungobittah

(a.k.a. Pepe & Bittah) 

I adopted Pierre (a.k.a. Pepe) from a nice, young man who simply couldn't spend enough time with him. It took awhile for Pepe to get used to his new family. When Pepe came to us, he was a pit bull biter. After a couple of years of patience on our part, we finally were able to gain his trust. Pepe became one of the sweetest gliders I've ever known. Sadly, just before his 10th birthday, on 3-20-12, Pepe passed away from liver & spleen cancer. We deeply miss him.

 Pepe during his last venture outdoors on 3-17-2012.

Bungobittah (a.k.a. Bittah) was Cricky & Pika's daughter. When she came out-of-pouch on 2-14-03, my son Joseph suggested that we should give her an Australian Aboriginal name. After some internet research, I found a list of Aboriginal names. Joseph picked "Bungobittah" because it means "Many Flying Squirrels". She has certainly lived up to her name! She has given Pepe 23 joeys in a four year time-frame. After that, Bittah decided that was enough - she kicked Pepe out of the nesting pouch each month when she went into heat until I had Pepe neutered.  It was with great shock that I found that Bittah had quietly passed over the Rainbow Bridge on her 9th birthday, 2-14-12. 

Bittah with two of her joeys, Rodan (m) and Yukira (f), Spring 2007

Pepe & Bittah were beautiful gliders and wonderful parents. Bittah was the perfect little mother. She was excellent with the joeys both in-pouch & out. She even adopted a female joey, Allira, that was rejected by Mareki in July, 2004. Pepe was a fantastic father who really cared for and about his joeys. Once the joeys were old enough, he helped to take care of them so that Bittah could get some "free" time. He also adopted Allira and whenever she was in the nest with them, he loved to clean her & nuzzle her. Allira is now paired up with Gizmo (see below).

Pepe in our Willow Tree after a rainstorm, Summer 2009

I often get comments asking me about the outdoor pictures of my gliders. Please note that all of my gliders are very well bonded to me and when I have them outside, they see me as their "safety zone"; consequently, they keep trying to get back to me the entire time they are outside, so there is no fear of them getting loose or running away. Gliders should not be allowed to play outside unless they have an excellent bond with their owner. If not bonded very well they may run away and this would be disastrous.

 

Site most recently updated in October, 2016