A small, injured sugar glider looks out from Leah Moore’s hand on Jan. 8. The exotic, Australian animal arrived at the doorstep of Flying Fur Animal Rescue and Refuge in Parksville several days ago. — Adam Kveton Photo

Marsupial mystery: Injured ‘sugar glider’ left at B.C. animal rescue centre

Exotic animal will lose tail, but people already want to give her a home

It’s not the first time Leah Moore has had an animal dropped at her door.

But the latest pet to arrive is one of the rarer ones she’s ever come across.

It’s called a sugar glider — a tiny marsupial that looks similar to a flying squirrel, but is in fact related to kangaroos and koalas, also coming from Australia.

“A couple of days ago, she was either dropped off during the night or early morning,” said Moore, the owner/operator of Flying Fur Animal Rescue and Refuge in Parksville. “We just found her in a box on the doorstep with no note.”

The sugar glider, small enough to fit in one hand, also had an injury.

“Tail de-gloving,” Moore called it, where the skin and flesh has, in this case, come off the sugar glider’s tail. “Rabbits get it where if a predator grabs them, the whole skin and flesh (can come off).”

Unfortunately, it’s a permanent injury, she said.

“They are not like reptiles where their tail will grow back,” said Moore. “She’ll just be a little bit of a stumpy.”

Though the sugar glider will still be able to glide through the air, she will have to adapt to balancing while perched or climbing around branches.

Though this sugar glider coming to Moore without any information, she still hopes that the animal’s owner will contact her, even anonymously, to describe how the animal was injured, her age, what its temperament is normally like and other information. This will help with finding the animal a new home, said Moore.

“We totally understand,” said Moore of the sugar glider arriving at the rescue. “So few vets care for these guys, so the vet cost is very expensive.”

READ MORE: Avian pox can leave eagles suffering in silence

Despite how exotic sugar gliders are, this is not the first Moore has had at the refuge, and there are various sugar glider owners across the Island.

Some of them have already reached out to Moore to provide information and items to help care for the sugar glider.

Even as the NEWS spoke with Moore, another phone call came in from someone asking how they could help.

“We already have people who are applying to adopt her that have sugar gliders,” said Moore, “which is very important because… these guys do not do well on their own. They are colony (creatures). They are like some parrots where they will self-mutilate themselves (if not with other gliders).”

Moore noted that Flying Fur Animal Rescue and Refuge is open to helping whatever animals they can, even if they cannot later be adopted, and she does not believe in euthanizing animals.

If that means a few bites, she’s used to it, she said.

“As long as an animal is happy, especially small animals, exotics, then we just let them be themselves.”

Anyone looking to support Flying Fur Animal Rescue and Refuge can donate pet food, fruit, vegetables, while monetary donations can be made to the Nanaimo Veterinary Hospital on the rescue’s account.

For more info, go to www.facebook.com/flyingfuranimalrescueandrefuge/

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Much of the Cariboo under open fire ban due to COVID-19

‘No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires’

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

100 Mile Curling Club marks the end of another successful year

The 100 Mile Curling Club wrapped up a successful season this year… Continue reading

A few COVID-19 considerations

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

30 YEARS AGO (1990): 100 Mile House’s downtown was set to undergo… Continue reading

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read