When we think of multiple animals being surrendered to a shelter by one person we think of out-of-control puppy mill or overwhelmed cat lady. You certainly don't think of nearly 50 sugar gliders needing new homes, but that's exactly the task ahead of a Massachusetts animal shelter. According to an article from WWMT, 44 sugar gliders need to be rehomed before the holidays, but before you take the road trip east to rescue one of these big eyed beauties, know that sugar gliders, although wonderful animals, are unlike your average pet.

The sugar glider, aka Petaurus breviceps, aka Cutiecus Flyacus, are colony animals and those looking to adopt should make room for at least two, so says Kalamazoo sugar glider enthusiast Sydney Lewis who adopted her gliders Richter and Ryuk years ago. She had a few insights in to the world of sugar glider adoption.

First, don't expect a quiet, cage dweller. "They also have big personalities. They like playing with toys and leaping across the room randomly and are happy to loudly share their opinions through barking, crabbing, or purring." But she admits its all worth it. "The most rewarding part, though, is the bonding. After lots of care and patience (and yogurt drops), gliders bond to you. They will groom you. They’ll let you hold them in your hands. They will sleep in your shirt. It’s the loveliest feeling to have a little ball of fluff purring as it naps on your chest."

Like mentioned before, when it comes to sugar gliders, one is the loneliest number. "They’re colony animals and, with few exceptions, are happiest and healthiest with at least one cage mate. It’s best to get gliders who were raised together, since the bonding process for those raised separately can be long and difficult. Mine had to live in separate cages for months before they finally bonded!"

And since these animals are exotic, finding items to fulfill their requirements comes with a price tage. "Large cages. Special diets. Vets who are trained to care for exotic animals. Safe toys and pouches that often have to be special ordered or made at home," Lewis listed off. On top of that, they are animals and do animal things. "They are not tame animals. They will sometimes bite. They will poop in your hair. They are nocturnal and they will sing you the song of their people at 3AM."

Those getting close to adopting should seek out additional resources. "Before adopting a colony, I would recommend doing a lot of reading and talking to other people who own gliders. There are some great glider groups on Facebook who can point you to rescues or reputable breeders and away from mill breeders and bad care information.

"And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have your male gliders neutered."

For more on what to expect when you're expecting a sugar glider, watch below.

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