Sugar Gliders/New adult sugar glider
QUESTION: Hello, I recently was given An adult female sugar glider from a friend. I had little precious knowledge since I baby sitted one for my friend. I know the basics but I'm having a couple problems; 1. She is a bit scared and its hard for me to bond with her since she is an adult, any tricks or advice to help me bond with her since she is an adult? Whenever I try to approach her she runs away but when I open the cage she wants to get out. I held her once but she pooped and peed all over me and she kept nibbling at me, is this normal? 2. She has recently been less active and doesn't jump around her cage a lot. All she does is sit on her wheel and eat I'm worried if she is getting sick or is this a phase during a new home thing? I've only had her for about a week
ANSWER: To be honest you need to find a well educated breeder and give her up. It is nearly impossible for even a seasoned breeder to keep a already bonded glider who has been given up, out of severe depression. And from what your telling me about her being less active and scared, she is already stressed and depressed. Adult gliders almost never bond to someone new. And if kept alone its almost guaranteed they will become depressed, resulting in starvation, aggressive behavior and self mutilation. I run a rescue where i live and at least once a week i get in gliders in this same situation and if i cant bond them to my groups, those ones always windup chewing a arm or leg off. Its horrible but its what a stressed glider will do.
Make sure you are familiar with its diet needs, a glider NEEDS a staple food, such as monkey biscuits. No cat food!! Its high in corn which will kill them. She also MUST have bugs n berries and gliderade DAILY as well as a variety of fresh, not canned fruit daily. They are not cheap or easy pets by any means. If you really feel a need to keep her, find a well known local breeder who will help you bond with her. But do it asap, once they are depressed they totally change. Her biting and peeing is normal, she will do that for a few months at least and it will only stop when and if she bonds. Do not touch or chase her, you are basically making her hate you. Buy a bonding pouch and get her to go from her sleeping pouch into the bonding one. Close it and wear it for up to 1 hour daily, basically get her used to your smell and try hand feeding her fruit. Make her think of you as being a good thing.
If you keep her you MUST spend at least 2 hours a night with her, they are very active and very social group animals, they are not supposed to be kept alone but i would not try to bond her in this state. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more help or advice, i wish you all the luck with her but after years of breeding and rescuing gliders i know these situations rarely work unless the new owner is well educated or willing to get educated as well as dedicate alot of time daily to the glider. If she gets worse and starts biting herself or frantically leaping in the cage in what seems to be a pattern, find someone to take her asap. Limb chewing is not far behind that and finding a glider with a eaten limb is no fun at all.
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QUESTION: I do spend quite some time with her every night, I let her out of her cage and have her on my body as much as possible. I have read that they can bond with other animals such as cats, I have a cat that doesn't have claws would this be okay? Also could I get another glider to help with the bonding process for her?
Gliders really only bond with the person who feeds them and other gliders, a few of mine always run right over to our great dane and leap from hisback to the floor but they dont really bond with other species. The cat can still scare or bite her, out of all animals i would say no to a cat. And as far as getting another glider anytime soon i wouldnt advise it until she begins acting normal again. Most stressed and depressed gliders will hurt or kill a new cage mate or vice versa. Also the added stress on you both with a new joey would not be ideal. Bringing a new glider home to even a well adjusted glider is stressful for them.
It is more likely to do more harm than good, then you are stuck with 2 unbonded gliders. If you can get her to be more social with you and less depressed in the cage then look into a joey. Try opening her cage and coaxing her out by letting her lick applesauce from your finger. She is likely to bite, hard. Dont pull away or scream, ignore it as much as possible. Also dont move alot when she is out, it can make them panic. I would worry only about having her in the bonding pouch and hand feeding her, holding her or having her out of her secure place (pouch) is moving pretty fast. It should take a good month of pouch bonding with a adult before you begin holding her by hand.
Take a sock that you dont need and sleep with it for a week, make sure its touching you at all times, put it or a piece if its to big, in her pouch. I usually use this for scent bonding while im away and cant pouch bond.