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 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hey guys.  Welcome back to Animal Wonders.  I'm Jessi, and today we're going to peek in on some of our little furry friends.  Trenton669 wrote in to ask, maybe we can have a check-up on Gizmo and Gadget, and I think that's a great idea.


We have four sugar gliders at Animal Wonders and Gizmo and Gadget have been with us the longest.  Gizmo is older at about 13 years and Gadget is 3 and they're right in here, so let me go ahead and grab them out.  They're sleeping right now because it's the middle of the day, and they're a nocturnal species, but I've got a pouch filled with delicious mealworms.  In the wild, nocturnal animals will be disturbed throughout the day and it's usually not for something like a midnight snack, so these guys will be really happy for the treat.

Here's Gizmo.  Hi, buddy.  He usually comes out first because he's been doing public presentations for most of his life and he trusts me and he knows that treats are involved.  Gadget is below him right now.  He's not as good at coming out as Gizmo, but he's getting better with practice.  I can give him a little treat, and he's licking his lips.  He totally stole some of Gizmo's treat there.  Here, have your own, bud.  There. 

Gadget is not so into his treat, so I'm going to go ahead and let him go back to sleep.  Here you go, right back in there.  Alright, while they're having out, you got a little sugar glider bum and tail to look at.  Let me give you an update.  About six months ago, Gadget started getting more possessive and territorial with Gizmo, which was interesting because they had been living together for almost two years, so both males were intact, so it was likely Gadget has matured and was starting to challenge Gizmo for dominance.  Natural sugar glider behavior shows that they will often have one dominant male in a troop and then a secondary male as their best buddy, so housing two males together can work well.

Gadget was starting to get rougher with Gizmo, which was pretty hard on the old guy.  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

We needed to make a decision on what to do to keep the pair happy and make sure Gizmo wouldn't get seriously hurt. We chose to neuter Gadget to reduce his hormones and he'd be more relaxed with Gizmo as his companion. The reason we didn't neuter Gizmo too is because he was really old and that makes the surgery quite risky. 

But there's also another reason that neutering Gadget would be beneficial. We're hoping to be able to introduce all of our sugar gliders in the future so that they can live in a small colony together. There's no guarantee that they will all like each other, but if none of their hormones are spiking, then there's a great chance the introduction will be successful. 

All right, let's let these guys go back to sleep and go say hello to our other two little friends. And in this enclosure we have Ping Pong and Boomerang, our other pair of male sugar gliders. These guys are not very keen on getting handled, but I've been working on building a trust bond for the last couple months. Both will let me pet them while they eat and they've come out onto my arm for treats, which is great progress. I've recently moved them into the same room as Gizmo and Gadget, so they can start smelling each other's presence. So they've only been in this location for a couple days. 

Today, I'd like to do another session with them during the day because this is when they'd be coming out for public presentations. I haven't done a daytime session with them since the last time I did it on camera for you, so you're witnessing this as I do. 

Okay, so last time they both wanted to get back into their enclosure as quickly as possible and didn't go into their pouch for safety. They just wanted to jump off of me. This time I want to move away from their home, so they don't get lured in by the smell. I'm hoping since they've gotten to know me better, they'll be a little calmer when they come out.

I'd really like them to see their pouch as their safe space so if they panic they'll just crawl back inside, instead of jumping off of me. They came with this pouch, so I've just kept it because it has all their smell in it. "Hi guys, I've got some treats for you. Hiii, oh hi sleepy face. Here look at that, oh that's a good sugar glider." 

 (04:00) to (06:00)

That's an angry sugar glider, 'cause he hasn't gotten his treat yet.  You gotta show your little face so I can give you a treat.  Hi.  Are you gonna steal his?  Oh, here you go.  Get it.  Get it.  Oh, no, not over there.  Oh.  You guys can't see.  Boomerang is stealing all of the treats.  Here, Ping-Pong, you get that.  You get that.  There we go.  Now they are both eating.  Alright, oh, they're fighting over it now.  You each have your own.  There you go.

I'm going a little slow 'cause I want them to feel comfortable in their pouch.  Come on out, there you go.  Keep eating.  You can run on me.  There you go.  Good job.  This is already progress.  Instead of just panicking as he came out of the pouch, he stopped and he's eating his food.  Get it.  He took it.  Oh, your nails are getting caught on my shirt, bud.  You gotta let me trim those nails, huh?  

Boomerang is just hanging out in the pouch.  He is doing awesome.  I would like him to come out on me because it would be good to see how he--there you go--reacts to being out of his pouch during the day.  Alright, now I'm gonna put a couple treats back in their pouch and let's see if they want to go back in.  I want them to go back into the pouch, 'cause I want them to know that that's safe.  Hi bud.  Do you wanna go back in there?  Perfect.

Alright, Ping-Pong's up on my shoulder.  I'm (?~5:35)--here you go, here's your pouch.  I can get him to go back in.  Go back in your pouch, it's a fun place to be.  (?~5:45)  Pouches are good, pouches are good.  Ahh, you're stuck on my shirt again.  Alright, um, at least he's not--he's not trying to jump off of me.  I do not want him to panic so I am going to move closer to the enclosure.  Hi buddy.  He's up on my hair now.  Here we go.  That's the outside, no, no, no, we wanna go on the inside. No, you wanna go on the inside.  

 (06:00) to (07:11)

Pouch?  There we go!  Success!  Alright, now will you go back in your pouch?  No, you're gonna go in your other pouch.  Well, that went well.  That was pretty good actually.  I am cover in sugar glider urine now.  

I'm gonna keep working with him because wow, we are making some great progress.  Thanks for coming along on this adventure with me and the sugar gliders.  If you'd like to go on an adventure with me every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana and if you'd like to make our little friends very happy, you can check out our Amazon wishlist and pick out a toy or some of their favorite food.  Thanks guys.  See you next week.