Someone said i was showing my age with the Hawkwind reference, well how about sugar kisses/lips like sugar by Echo and the Sugar gliders, ooops, i mean Echo and the Bunnymen. (strange fact about me that i took their photos in the late 1980s when they appeared at the Paleo Festival de Nyon, near Geneva Swizterland. My first job as a photojournalist).
Anywayyyyy, back to Sugar Gliders.
My friend Suzie found this adorable critter lying in the road, injured. She popped it into her bag and brought it to me.
yep this is a non-native animal, surely an escaped or abandoned pet; Sugar Gliders....
named for their fondness for sweet food such as plant sap and nectar – are a type of marsupial with a squirrel-like body and huge eyes. They can be found in Australia as well as in Indonesia, and are known for their ability to glide through the air, using membranes which stretch from their front to back limbs.
According to the AFCD " ¡§sugar glider¡¨ is not allowed to be imported into Hong Kong and the AFCD does not encourage any trading or breeding of the species".
They are high-maintenance pets, and need even more attention and love than cats or dogs.
Here it is as Suzie found him....alone, and very badly injured, probably by a car. His back legs were crushed and paralysed.
But there is a facebook page and a "trade" in these animals (which are often reported missing). Once they are smuggled in, they go into a legal limbo. how so? well, its technically legal to own them - but not to buy and sell them. hmmmm, so all trading is "underground" as there is no license to trade in them.
These are not an endangered species, so that's good. But they require a LOT of space and are nocturnal, so will make a lot of noise and activity in the night, and need constant temperatures around 27 degrees, so really not ideal for Hong Kong.
As it was so badly injured I did not think of rehoming it, although i had many offers. I called the SPCA, and they sent a pickup around within the next couple of hours. They contacted me the next day and had gently euthanised it (what a horrible job as a vet, hats off to them, really), as its back legs were so badly crushed.
A sad little tale, about an adorable creature...easy to fall in love with, but please, think very, very hard about any animal that you want to keep as a pet.