KingMtnTreasures

KingMtnTreasures
USDA Licensed Breeder of African Pygmy Hedgehogs

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Your Precious Pet: Meet Sugar Gliders Luna and Kira

Please take pet ownership seriously, and honestly share what you know about your pet. I always say, "if everyone would realize that pets are a real, living, responsibilities and not an item that is owned or disposable, then maybe more animals will have better lives.”

I have a sincere love for animals. I love to learn and talk about them. Since I have come to the end of being able to feature my wonderful pets, I am moving on to featuring your precious pets. So grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and maybe a tissue, sit back, get to know and enjoy these wonderful blessings we call pets but are truly a part of our families.

This week I am featuring an adorable pair of Sugar Gliders. “What are sugar gliders,“ you say? Sugar gliders are small arboreal marsupial. Visit Sugar Gliderpedia for more info on these adorable little critters.

With this bit of info in mind, I want you to meet Luna and Kira. They are a pair of female standard grey sugar gliders. Luna is almost 4 years old, while Kira is 3 1/2 years old. Their owner is the creator of the store, Vicious Encounters, who likes to be known as Vicious.

 Kira grooming Luna's back where she can't reach.

Here is how my friend, Vicious, came to own these girls…“Around four years ago my first anniversary was approaching. At this time I was unaware at the type of grandiose gifts my boyfriend gets for special occasions and I wasn't really sure what to expect from him on such a milestone for us since our relationship was just in its infancy. I woke up early and made myself pretty for the small celebrations we had planned before he had to work. I did the routine, made some great sugary sweets, his favorite dish, hand crafted a few items, and wrapped his gift. When he finally came over I was upset at how empty handed he was and the fact that he was so frantic appearing made me worry. He instructed me to wait on him and he would be back from the store. I thought to myself... "Wonderful, he hasn't even bought me a present yet". After watching the sun move in preparation for the evening I was growing weary. Suddenly he chimed in at just the right moment and presented me with a box that was not even wrapped. I smiled and played the guessing game with him to keep it interesting and I finally opened the box and peered in. What I saw was nothing like I had ever seen before, it had large black eyes the size of marbles, black and gray striping all over it, big teeth and I then realized this creature I was holding was alive and it could bite! I shut the box again and I asked timidly, "What....what is it?". He started up with laughter and then finally explained that it was a Sugar Glider or a small gliding marsupial from Australia and Indonesia. In amazement I coaxed myself into opening the box again and when I did the creature inside made a noise like a garbage disposal and opened its mouth wide which I later discovered was "crabbing". I was shocked and scared and handed it back to him unsure whether or not I wanted to accept his gift. Of course out of generosity I accepted the Sugar Glider and later named her Luna. Months into having Luna I wondered if all gliders were like her and I started doing some research on forums where the information is not endorsed. I found out that her coat was looking bad because I had her on a bad diet that didn't mimic what she would have eaten in the wild at all. The forums stressed how gliders were colony animals and needed friends but I disagreed with that because the pet store lady told me that if I spent a lot of time with Luna that I didn't have to buy two and she would be fine alone. I also discovered that she was severely under weight and that gliders do need to see vets. I was surprised to then discover that my tiny little pet that most people would mistake as simple minded was actually very depressed and was starving herself because of loneliness. It is hard and embarrassing for me to admit that it took Luna everything in her power to convince me into getting her a friend. That is how Kira came into my life. Kira was raised by a small hobby breeder and grew up to be my biggest glider out of three others. Kira weighs over 30 more grams than my other girls, I bet you can guess what her favorite thing to do is.”
This is the first picture I took of Luna, right after she came home from the pet store. She is full of life but her coat is in bad condition because she was not being fed right at the store.
 

Kira eating of course inside a glider kitchen.

I think sugar gliders are just adorable and cuddly looking, they could easily be an impulse purchase. But when I found out what one of their worst traits was, I knew sugar gliders were not a pet for me. Vicious says, “Luna loves to let me know that I am part of her colony by soaking me in urine. Marking me is her way of making me smell like the "pack" again after a nice shower. Even if you managed to potty train a glider it is their natural inclination to scent mark things. Since they are nocturnal their eyesight is less important than their nose, making Sugar Gliders a scent driven animal.”

 

This is Luna when she was alone. She always sleep during that time, I don't know why I didn't realize she was sad.

For me, one of my greatest pleasures is watching my animals interact with each other or a toy. They are always doing something that makes me wish I had my camera. Just enjoying their presence and interaction is a one of the joys of pet ownership. Vicious love spending her time in her room with Luna and her friends. She says, “they love to glide from the tops of shelves or anything high up and I love to watch them while I do homework. My gliders will often glide to me and wonder if I have any treats or if I would like to pet them.”
 

This is Luna and Kira's first night being housed together. On their first night they ran in their stealth wheel together for so long that they were too tired to go to their pouch, so I took this picture right before they closed their eyes.

My pets are always entertaining me with one of their hi-jinks, so I asked Vicious to share one of her stories. “One night during "out of cage time" I could not find Luna or Kira anywhere. They had vanished and I feared the worst. I thought they may have gotten out of the room under the door frame and the dog had gotten them, that they found a hole in the wall and got stuck, maybe they got outside to the top of a tree never to be seen again, etc. I searched frantically, throwing things off of shelves, ripping things out of boxes, and decluttering the closet.....at that moment I heard a muffled garbage disposal and I knew they were some where. I jiggled a few of the blankets until I found the one they must have hid in. I pulled a crocheted pillow from the top of the closet and looked at it mesmerized. I wondered how I would ever get to them because they were inside the pillow. Frustrated I pulled at one of the sides hoping I could separate it just enough to get them out and then it suddenly started to unfold. It was a blanket that folded into a pillow and some how they had forced their bodies through the tiny holes through layers and layers of blanket! I was unfolding for quite some time. When I got to the center they were peacefully sleeping and looked up at me as if I ruined their beauty sleep.” I’m sure all of you have had that look from one of your pets at one time or another. I know I get it quite often from my cat, Jazzy.

 

Here is Luna and Kira eating a few meal worms. They woke up in the middle of the day just to grab a few!
All animals have instincts but they also have individual personalities too. Just like humans, they are never two just alike. Luna loves to sleep often making a nest anywhere. She would rather not be touched but just hanging out with her owner and cage mate makes her most happy. In contrast, Kira’s favorite thing to do is eat. But she also enjoys attention and may nip at you if you ignore her.

 

This is a picture of Luna and how sad she was alone.
Vicious loves her sugar gliders. They are the inspiration behind her store Vicious Encounters. I love how she came up with her store's name. If you scroll back up to her first meeting with Luna on her anniversary, it wasn’t very pleasant. Very creative indeed. Vicious Encounters caters to the comfort of sugar gliders by providing wonderful cage accessories. She started making these items because she could not find quality items for sugar gliders. The Raindrop Nest is one of her original design.
Custom Raindrop Nest for Sugar Gliders

Here are some other wonderful items you will find in her shop:
Custom Cubed Cave For Sugar Gliders











If you want to see more wonderful pictures of Luna and Kira and new creations from Vicious Encounters, follow them on their Flickr account:
All pictures are owned and provided by Vicious Encounter.

If you would like you precious pet and shop feature here contact me at kingmtntreasures@gmail.com.

8 comments:

  1. Good series! I can't see the pictures though.

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  2. Never heard of sugar gliders. Would like to see them, even if - like you - would probably not share my home with them. Kept getting an invite to get a g-mail account, and when filling that form in, it wouldn't play ball - because I don't have a mobile, and don't want to bother any friends who have - so that the "verification" code can be sent!!

    So, won't bother with a g-mail account! Cheers.

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  3. Thanks for telling me about the pictures. I thought I could paste them from my email. I have downloaded them to my computer, then uploaded to my blog. I hope this fixes it.

    Not sure about the g-mail account thing. Sorry if it caused you problems. I will check into it.

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  4. These are so adorable. I was familiar with the name and appearance but really had no idea what was involved in caring for them. What a chance the BF took in giving such a gift! So glad they ended up being loved!

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  5. Thanks for sharing the story. They are great little critters.

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  6. I love sugar gliders, they are so cute. Like you, I love animals. I grew up on a farm, so I was exposed to a wide range of animals. I have had a lot of pets in my life, I still miss terribly the ones I have lost along the way. Currently I have 8.... although I never meant to have EIGHT, but they seemed to find their way to me, one way or another, and 2 became 4, became 6, became 8.... $ cats and 4 dogs. They are my fur-kids, they are the light of my life. Thank you for your post. I found you via Etsy Team, but any animal lover is someone I want to follow, so I will! :)

    Best wishes!

    Miranda

    ___________________________________________________

    Art & Craft Blog: randamart.blogspot.com
    My Cancer Battle: ancoraimparo.blogspot.com

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  7. Sugar gliders do have adorable faces and soft fur. There are a lot of people who have them and love them, but not every pet (no matter what kind) is perfect for everyone. The sad thing is it's the pet that usually suffers. Luna and Kira have a wonderful home and owner who loves them.

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  8. great story, I think that's how many people start out with new pets. sure glad the internet is full of good info cuz pet stores have no clue! my funniest story I ever heard was from a sugar glider mom ;-)

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Thanks for reading my post. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Tisha