Sugar Gliders in Malaysia

The Petster’s Sugar Glider talk went very well and I was asked a few questions like are they endangered? Do we need a license to have them? How about keeping a sugar glider in our climate?

Well, firstly, sugar gliders are from the genus Petaurus Breciveps, widely found as pets and also as wild gliders in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and also some parts of Australia. In other countries, sugar gliders are illegal to keep due to the country’s law on keeping exotic animals, such as Singapore. In Australia, one is required to have a special permit to keep gliders. In US, breeders and keepers are required to get a license to keep and breed them. In Malaysia, it is pretty lenient. Almost anyone can own a glider since there is no need for any license or permit. Just a wallet full of cash and you can obtain a joey easily.

It is sad that there are many sugar glider mills and profit sellers in Malaysia. I know, everyone needs to make a living but to me it’s really is evil to see people place adult gliders that are wild and scared in cramped cages, selling them for about RM120 as breeding adults. The joeys are the ones that roll in the money for these unethical sellers and pet shops. Each joey can fetch a price of about RM400, and people do not realise that for that amount of money, they can get a perfectly healthy and active joey from a proper homebreeder. The joeys at pet shops are sometimes malnourished. They have been separated from their mother before they are fully weaned, then placed in cages with half a rotten apple. It is like taking a baby that is still nursing and giving it a chicken drumstick, expecting the baby to eat it. I have seen so many sad sights, where the joeys try their best to eat the apples or dry dog food put into their small tanks or cages. Many do end up dead and are thrown into the trash can like a piece of rubbish.

It is a sad sight. Just look how small and vulnerable and weak this joey is:

I think the joey is not more than 4 weeks OOP. The proper age should be 8 weeks OOP. Majority of the pet shops have staff that do not read up on the basic care nor do any research. They just advice base on what was given by the suppliers/mills. Just feed apples, mealworms and dry cat food. Some would even say keep them in hamster cages! I have had many SOS calls from people, last minute asking me why their joeys are weak, cannot walk, have difficulty eating…. when I question them about the diet, I was given the same answer over and over again – “I feed apples only and some cat food with yogurt”

It is not too hard to keep sugar gliders in Malaysia. We have some basic necessities such as large bird cages, homemade bonding pouches and sleeping pouches, cage accessories and toys as well as an abundant of local fruits. We are actually blessed with a variety of tropical fruits that we can get easily, such jambu air or water apple, sugar apple, papaya, ciku, rambutan, mango and so on. A glider just needs a diet with plenty of fruits and veggies of different varieties, supplement food (GliderSLURP), crickets and mealworms.

We still need to educate the public about sugar gliders. I am very glad to see that some forums have sugar glider communities, already having debates and sharing about glider care. This is certainly improvement. I just hope more people would join such forums and learn from the senior keepers. Learn about underage joeys and also how to locate a good breeder in my next post.

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43 thoughts on “Sugar Gliders in Malaysia

  1. Wow, this is great info, my girlfriend loves them. She has been showing some interest in sugar gliders for the past few weeks. I finally got a chance to see them, and they are beautiful little animals. We can’t afford one yet, but if we ever get one, your site has taught me a lot! keep up the good work :)

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m trying my best to make it as informative as possible for Malaysians. Hope you and your gf get to have a pair once you guys are ready.

  3. hey i already have a glider thats about 10 months old and i just bought a female joey and apparently its a month old.. did i make a mistake? is there any way for me to know?

  4. I’m interested in having a Sugar glider but I don’t know a reputable person to purchase a Sugar glider from. I’m looking for a pair. Any suggestion? Please give me some good feedback.

  5. Do you know where I get purchase a pair of sugar glider from a reputable/reliable somewhere in KL/Sel.
    How much does it really cost for a pair.

    • Hi
      Well, we do have 3 joeys awaiting homes but we only sell single sexed pairs. Please look at our Joeys For Sales page, you can check the price.

  6. i have one called John. i think it is a male glider. I dont know… its nail are very sharp. i dont know what to do. John love to sleep all day long. but at night very active.how to change the routine…..anybody can help??

    • You can clip their nails. I do provide free nail clipping for gliders.

      You cannot change the routine coz gliders are night animals. Why they enjoy the night is because their eyes and hearing are made for the night. Their eyes can adjust to light but bright day light for long periods hurt their eyes.

  7. hai…im have 2 joey…n now im still learning about sugar glider.it is to ensure my s.glider healty. but im still worried bcause they really small it around 2 month. n they are very shy n active sometime

    • Most petshops or suppliers do not provide or sell joeys that are of the correct 2 months out of pouch age. It’s always younger and riskier to get from them. What is the diet that you have been feeding them recently?

  8. hi… i also got male glider, actually my son (glider) are so cute…. and i think i love it than my boyfriend he…he…

  9. hey…i bought a 2 months of age joey recently…she’s ok in the sense that she plays around well…but she seems to be very afraid of human presence…any suggestions to change that??i would really appreciate it…thanks!!

  10. Hi there..i have 1 male glider given to me from a fren. Average is around 8 month now. I have been keeping him about 2 month and so far his fine…playing,eating..make some noise here n there at night…Yup! his quite shy but he will be very hyper specially in the car n at nite. For time being, i feed him with baby food Heinz Vanilla Custard n he enjoy it so much by lick it..also with apple,persimmon,dates n latest food that he crazy so much is Kellogs Frosties… Damn! i tell u its like see him with a big smile everytime im near to him with the frosties..
    Few question i like to ask is how can i get a partner for him and wat is the best age? What will be his reaction if there is a new glider in his cage cos i heard that they will fight..i dun want to hurt my beloved Sam’dol..Fyi i never bring him out to public as im afraid that he will ran off..wat i do normally i will put him on my lap,hand n play with him for rufly an hour. Also is there is any gathering or club for gliders keepers in Malaysia?

    TQ

    • hi nickie…if you still looking for a partner for your sugar glider,you have to find female age at least 10 month…you try to put them together first,if they fight then better you separate for a few days but keep the cage very closed so that your glider can sense the smell between each other.I’m sure it will be ok after a couple of days…..

  11. i own 1,if someone wanna buy,can contact me……just from klang onli.onli $300-$350 each..or can contact me direct.. 0166775696

  12. Have been breeding sugar glider for yrs.May I share some of my experience?
    For anyone that still do not have them,please take this into consideration…b4 making your decision to own one.
    1st its their nature to cos some smell.Do you ready for that?
    2nd.They are long live..about 10-15 yrs…are you ready for that type of responsibility?
    3rd Do you have any other pets at home Especially cat or Husky?This 2 have many records
    that killed them.
    4th Are you real animal lover or just go along with the FAD?If you r the later advice
    not to have one…owning this you need a long commitment.
    5th Search as many information about them as much as possible b4 buying one.
    If you plan to have one for sure ,please choose those that about 2month n 3 weeks -3 month1/2.That is the best time that they will bond with you.
    Hope this can help those in this forum can have some idea b4 starting to own this cute n friendly animals

  13. hi a few question about the suggie.. i got male glider is about 3 month years old n we called it ucin..since last month ucin like to eat his own filth. i feed it with apple,pear,grape, and cat food. wat else fruit that can feed glider? is glider can eat fruit stone?

    • You are feeding your glider a very very bad diet. Apple, pear and grapes? Do you know grapes is not good for gliders and can cause health problems in animals? Catfood? That is going to give your glider kidney stones if you feed it everyday. Fruit stone? A glider can die from eating a seed or stone from a fruit. Please please read my page on diet and I have listed all the fruits you can feed to your glider. But I must warn you, if you do not change the diet of your glider, it can shorten it’s life. I hope you would take more precaution and do more research for the sake of the glider.

  14. i just a pair of joeys a week ago. during bonding do i put both of them together in the pouch or one at a time.now i am doing it one at a time.i feed them with cat biscuit and happy glider biscuit. how do i alternate the feeding of the above items.i also feed them with apples every night. the male is very aggresive/fierce.every when i handle him it put up a fuss and at times tried to bite me. i came across a product spray which is to be sprayed on your palm during bonding to curb aggresive behavior. where can i find the product in KL. their nails are sharp and also at the internet there was a nail filing strip which you change with the wodent wheel strip so when they run at thr wheel it will short of file the nails blunt.i have a medium size wodent wheel can i put sand paper in it to get the same effect and how do i go about securing it so that it will not come off.

    • You only feed cat food and happy glider biscuit? It sounds a little unhealthy. About the product spray, you cannot find in Malaysia. Aggression is normal if they fear you as a threat and you haven’t bonded properly. It could be the male wants to be more dominant than you and is jealous that you take his female out. This happens sometimes. You can get the nail-o-matic, do not use sand paper as the sand paper is a different sort of thing, and it can cut their delicate paws. Do not use the cheap way out to solve your problem.

    • How old is your joey?As a breeder I dont sell them till they are 2months and 3 week.
      Its a rule here that we dont sell those above 4 months old.Cat food is bad for their health.All breeder here maily supply them with CERELAC baby food by Nestle which you
      can by in any super market.For joey below 4 months old use 1st step formula.Dont feed
      them any fruits till they are above 4 months.Normally only wash your hand before handling
      them.A joey may try to bite you but normally at that age not really hurt,just handle them
      gently after a few times they will start to bond with you.Just use nail clipper and clip
      only the TIP of their nail.Personally,I dont clip mine.

  15. Hello there,this evening, i found a small,cute glider on my couch.i just got back from work n off to my sofa. i didnt realise the glider until i placed my hand on the sofa head.. i was shocked and squeaked a bit, n i realized that the glider reacted the same..haha..then i panicked,not know what to do,so i sliced an apple(small portion) n gave to the glider,..she took it n licked the moist around the apple n i realised she was thirsty.at first she was like avoiding me(scared i supposed). after a while, she was ok..i called my bf,n we decided to free her. we brought the glider to puncak alam’s(shah alam) ‘forest’..hmm..there are many trees there and hopefully the tress will stay there in 2-3 years time (doubtly due to development)(T_T)…i hope im doing the right thing coz i dont like to c animals in cages..im a conservationist myself, n now pursuing my Msc. degree in Marine Biology..so,i know im doing it right.

    • Dear Yanti, what you have done was not the right thing at all. The glider was captive bred, it would never survive in the wild. If it was a joey, you have sent it into the jungle to be food for another animal. It must have been an escaped glider, lost and found your sofa as a temporary security. It could be one of your neighbour’s pet. Sugar gliders are not our normal tupai, and since it is a captive bred glider, it would never strive properly alone because they are colony animals. A single glider, a captive bred one would die in the wild very soon. If it was a wile squirrel, then it would be the right thing. But a captive bred animal, it would never survive. Even Orang Utans that are captive bred or caught when young are never released into the wild until they are rehabilitated for years before going back to the wild. I just hope the previous owner is not too upset.

  16. You know what?Sugar Gliders are protected under the enactment of National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972? Where person who owns,who sell can be apprehended and prosecuted? FYI, sugar gliders in Malaysia(Brown in color, which is native from the forest of Malaysia) is not the same as the Aussies (Grey in color)havent u did any research?or even seek consult from the experts (i.g Irshad Mubarak-the guide for Prime Minister and advisor at Langkawi forest reserve)????And gliders live in colony during breeding season..most of the time there are solitary..u ader bace research jurnal tak?im just informing while educate awareness on all who reading this including u..no offense but i talked to most conservationist out there saying that i did great..that’s all..well,the glider i found may be in their teen age(as i described the morphology to the conservationist),it’s a suitable age for them to explore and fend for themselves in the wild(if they were in captive before).Back from the beginning,it’s still wrong to take them from the wild and sell the gliders( while there are still depend on their mother)separated from their mother..sedeyh betol!

    • If it is native, why was all the news about sugar gliders in Malaysia, by nature society and by Perhilitan say that Sugar gliders are not native?
      http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20110319-268929.html

      In malaysia we have a Squirrel Gliders, which live solitary lives and come to breed during the breeding season. Sugar gliders cannot live alone, they form groups of 4 to 11 or more in the wild. Squirrel gliders are more related to rodents and not marsupials. It is illegal to keep native squirrel gliders but not illegal to keep sugar gliders, under what Perhilitan have said.

      This is from Perhilitan Semenanjung Malaysia

      sugar glider is not listed under the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 [Act 716], thus requires no license to keep it. For your information this species is also not listed under CITES appendixes and are widely bred in captivity.

  17. hmm..u go and check with perhilitan in their facebook..Jabatan Perhilitan Semenanjung Malaysia…go and ask the officers..u’ll be suprised..no worth babling here.just seek the experts..yg betol2 expert..conservationist i mean..bukan yg kerja pasal duit..thank u

    • You have obviously done the wrong thing and have no remorse over what was wrongly done. But PLEASE do not spread wrong information in here and give false impression to the readers here. You obviously have not read about this unique specie enough to give any good advice. I am talking about sources around the world. This breed is NOT native to Malaysia and they live in colony. Never solitary. The so called “experts” you are consulting are equally ignorant like you. Please stop saying all these conservationist crap. Try writing to World Wildlife Fund and the true qualified conservationist will tell you otherwise. Captive sugar gliders should never be set free in the wild. This will do them no justice and is suicidal for them. Please do more research before banging out all these silly comments. If it is illegal to keep them as pets or breed them, then all the petshops out there should be prosecuted. Why has that not happened? Doesn’t it ring a bell?

      • from the very beginning, when she said she found a sugar glider on her sofa, i just had a hunch that something was wrong with this girl.

  18. Hey m n my bro would like 2 get a sugar glider bt since its so xpensive in msia v wld b travelling 2 indonesia 2 gt a pair . do u tink it is a smart move? is it okay for the sg especially de changes of climate it wld face? im rili blurr n thank you very much on all the info u guys gv. it helps me n ma bro a lot 2 noe its suitable diet so on so forth we’ve been doin a mny of research on tis cute creature b4 v gt tem so v wld make a gud owner . pls help us out ….

  19. hei . im kinda new here . i ave a question for everyone . where could i buy a sugar glider in Alor Star . I have been searching for it for about 7 month now . there is some shop that sell it but its kinda already big . maybe couple of years old . im finding for a baby new born sugar glider . please helpme out , i really appreciate it .

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