Dozens of sugar gliders, a kind of adorable flying possum, are in need of new homes after being relinquished to a Boston-area organization.
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell on Friday said the 44 sugar gliders were surrendered from a home in Hampshire County after the owner found it overwhelming to care for them once they started reproducing.
The possums -- 27 males and 17 females -- are residing in MSPCA-Angell's adoption centers in Jamaica Plain and Methuen. Most of the critters are about a year old, with the exception of one that is 13.
The possums can soar through the air like flying squirrels and are characterized as friendly, social, playful and curious. They enjoy spending time with other members of their species as well as humans.
As omnivores, they do best when eating a protein-rich diet as well as green leafy vegetables and fruit. Additionally, they have an affinity for pouches, shirt pockets, and fabric pouches.
Mike Keiley, the director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, said that owning sugar glider, while challenging, can be rewarding.
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“Sugar gliders are extremely social animals and can make great pets — but they are exotic animals and need specialized care,” said Keiley.
He noted some of the females may be pregnant, meaning that they'll be kept at the shelter until they give birth. Homes for the newborns will be found once they have all been born.
MSPCA-Angell is conducting animal adoptions by appointment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Interested adopters may email the Boston adoption center at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the animals taking shelter at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass.