The Petster’s Sugar Glider talk went very well and I was asked a few questions like are they endangered? Do we need a license to have them? How about keeping a sugar glider in our climate?
Well, firstly, sugar gliders are from the genus Petaurus Breciveps, widely found as pets and also as wild gliders in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and also some parts of Australia. In other countries, sugar gliders are illegal to keep due to the country’s law on keeping exotic animals, such as Singapore. In Australia, one is required to have a special permit to keep gliders. In US, breeders and keepers are required to get a license to keep and breed them. In Malaysia, it is pretty lenient. Almost anyone can own a glider since there is no need for any license or permit. Just a wallet full of cash and you can obtain a joey easily.
It is sad that there are many sugar glider mills and profit sellers in Malaysia. I know, everyone needs to make a living but to me it’s really is evil to see people place adult gliders that are wild and scared in cramped cages, selling them for about RM120 as breeding adults. The joeys are the ones that roll in the money for these unethical sellers and pet shops. Each joey can fetch a price of about RM400, and people do not realise that for that amount of money, they can get a perfectly healthy and active joey from a proper homebreeder. The joeys at pet shops are sometimes malnourished. They have been separated from their mother before they are fully weaned, then placed in cages with half a rotten apple. It is like taking a baby that is still nursing and giving it a chicken drumstick, expecting the baby to eat it. I have seen so many sad sights, where the joeys try their best to eat the apples or dry dog food put into their small tanks or cages. Many do end up dead and are thrown into the trash can like a piece of rubbish.