A few weeks after I started researching sugar gliders in the hopes of getting a pair, my parents found a breeder online who was in our area. We drove to the given address and found that the sellers were inside of a flea market. Uneducated me didn’t realize all of the problems with the breeder at the time. I wanted to share my experience and what I saw so that you don’t make a mistake in supporting mill breeders who do not care about their animals.
They had a table with two or three Mosaic gliders out for people to touch. The gliders were terrified (remember, they are nocturnal and do not like noise!) Daddy picked up one and it bit him and when he asked why, the seller said that they don’t normally bite but it must be something on his finger. That is a complete lie. Anyone who’s been around gliders at all know that they do indeed bite quite frequently. This varies with their personality and the level that they are bonded to you, but they bite. Period.
The gliders all had leashes around their necks. Leashes are incredibly dangerous for sugar gliders. It can damage their patagium (gliding skin) and strangle them. Never put a lease or a diaper on your glider. One of the gliders jumped off of the table and the man grabbed the end of the rope and pulled it into the air. The glider was just hanging there and trying to climb the leash.
He offered to sell us the Mosaic male along with a “starter cage” for $500. The cage itself was very small and not nearly large enough for even one glider. They also sold tiny cages if the “big starter one” was too expensive. They were selling a completely pellet diet as well, which is NOT suitable at all.
We asked him how many gliders we needed to get and he said that everyone said that you need more than one, but that it was a lie and that one glider would be happy alone if we spent an hour a day with it. I didn’t know any better at the time, but now it makes me mad. Gliders are colony animals and they absolutely need to have someone of their own species to be with. No matter how much time you spend with your glider, you cannot be there 24/7 to keep them warm, groom them and play with them.
We (thankfully) ended up not buying the gliders there. We found an awesome breeder in Nashville and got my babies from her.
Point being, more often than not, people selling gliders in flea markets and at malls are going to say anything to get you to buy their gliders. The gliders are probably not well cared for. Please, please do a lot of research before buying gliders. There are a lot of people out there who will tell you what you want to hear if they can make some money from it. Don’t be afraid to ask your breeder questions before taking your little ones home.