44 sugar gliders need new homes

Courtesy photo This sugar glider is one of 44 surrendered to MSPCA facilities across the state now available for adoption.

METHUEN –– MSPCA locations in Methuen and Jamaica Plain have taken in 44 newly surrendered sugar gliders, a record number of tiny marsupials for the organization, a spokesperson said.

Ideal potential adopters will have experience with small mammal care. Sugar gliders are known to be playful and curious, and enjoy spending time with others of their kind as well as humans.

Because they are marsupials, they have a natural affinity for pouches –– or shirt pockets. The animals thrive on a protein-rich diet –– like cooked eggs or commercially available sugar glider-specific pellets –– green leafy vegetables and some fruit, according to the MSPCA.

There were 27 males and 17 females available as of last Friday. They were surrendered from a home in Hampshire County, according to the organization spokesperson. The previous owner is said to have become overwhelmed as the animals began to reproduce.

Most of the sugar gliders are now a year old –– with one 13-year-old –– and are described as friendly, social and healthy.

Mike Keiley, director of adoptions centers and programs at MSPCA-Angell, said adopters are needed now more than ever.

“Sugar gliders are extremely social animals and can make great pets,” he said. “But they are exotic animals and need specialized care.”

Some of the females are currently pregnant, Keiley said, and will be held back from adoption until they give birth.

The MSPCA continues to manage animal adoptions by appointment for safety reasons during the pandemic.

Anyone interested in adopting can email the Boston adoption center at adoption@mspca.org or the Methuen location –– where there are 19 sugar gliders –– at methuen@mspca.org.

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