The Sugar Glider, or Petaurus breviceps is a marsupial, a subspecies of opossum native to the vast canopied forests of Australia and New Guinea. It is nocturnal, with large eyes, and agile paws. Sugar Gliders "glide" by making heroic jumps from tree branch to tree branch, favoring eucalyptus trees, acacias, and mimosas, sources of sap and fruit, both important parts of the Sugar Glider's diet.
Though somewhat delicate and difficult to properly care for in cool climates, Sugar Gliders have become popular "pocket pets" in the U.S. It is not legal to keep them as pets in parts of Australia, namely in Western Australia, New South Wales, and Tasmania, where the Sugar Glider is not a native but has been inadvertently imported from the mainland.
Though not ideally suited as pets in part because of their instinctive scent-marking, using special organs under their tails, foreheads and chests to mark their territory, there's less-than-ideal breeding industry, where huge numbers of Sugar Gliders are kept for breeding purposes. Often the conditions are not good for the Sugar Gliders, and, much like the adorable bunny purchased for an Easter gift and then neglected, the poor Sugar Glider doesn't fare well with naïve or poorly prepared human caretakers.
That said, there are responsible breeders, and a few dedicated fans. Sugar Gliders are dangerously cute though, as you can see in this video from a someone who has specialized in caring for Sugar Gliders. You can find more of possum007's Sugar Glider videos here.
Image Credit: Wm Jas