Sugar, the sugar glider, passed away today. The tumor was causing her discomfort and difficulty breathing so she was humanely euthanized this afternoon. We gave Sugar all of her favorite treats these few days and she enjoyed her grapes the best, licking the insides and then discarding the skin. We enjoyed sharing these last 4 years of our lives with Sugar and remember many fond memories. We spent hours researching Sugar Glider nutrition, talking to all of our animal contacts from Zoo veterinarians to breeders in order to find out exactly what was best for them. Sugar's favorite foods were mealworms (by far), grapes, artichoke, nectar, and almonds. Though she wasn't picky about all the other heath foods we put in her dish. We used to joke that she ate better than we did, now that's true of all of our animals! We worked with Sugar on coming out to play, but since she was older when we got her she never craved the socialization that some sugar gliders enjoy. We used positive reinforcement, meaning she got a reward every time she came out or wanted to socialize. She liked to nip our fingers when she wanted another treat, and sometimes she meant right now! After we caught on that she would rather entertain herself she received many toys to play on and pouches to sleep in. Her favorite place to sleep was a wooden nest box made for birds. She never liked to climb through the hole in the front, instead she would open the lid and crawl in from the top. She liked to stuff the box full of shredded paper and create a nice comfy bed inside.
After 2 years we took in 2 more sugar gliders, Gizmo & Nemo. Sugar enjoyed their company, though they were never allowed direct contact. They did interact at night since their enclosures were right next to each other. We will always remember Sugar as she was the first mammal that Animal Wonders took in. Sugar, you will be missed.
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