Don't let their looks fool you.
Sugar Gliders are not squirrels says Chris Hamann the hostess of the Over the Rainbow Sugar Glider gathering in Quincy on Saturday.
"A sugar glider is a marsupial that is physically similar to a southern flying squirrel," Hamann said. "Which means that they have the gliding patageum that they can spread out and kind of hang glide from tree to tree. Only they are marsupials rather than rodents."
The event was fundraiser for a Texas based rescuer that takes in sick or infirmed sugar gliders.
"She'll take them in. Pay for all of their vet care. And we're raising money to help her care for more gilders," Hamann said.
Natalie Wilson from Springfield, Missouri is a sugar glider owner and has been breeding them for two years.
She explains the attractions of these unique animals.
"They're soft. They're cuddly. They're intelligent. Each one is..individual personalities. You just can't resist them. They're addictive," Wilson said.
During Saturday's event, sugar glider lovers learned about the proper foods, purchased pouches to carry them in and even put their artistic skills to work.
But everyone was quick to point out that a sugar glider is NOT for the casual pet owner. That included Indiana-based sugar glider rescuer Connie Small.
"You can't just put a bowl of food or water in their cage and let them go," Small said. "They are a colony animal so they need a lot of attention."
But for the RIGHT pet owner a sugar glider can be a wonderful companion.
"A sugar glider can live up to 15 years," Hamann said. "Gliders also become extremely bonded to their people, or their person and can even become depressed, sulk and even pass away if they are taken away from them. They just have huge personalities packed into little bitty bodies."
Chris Hamann says you need to do plenty of research before purchasing a sugar glider.
She recommends going to glidercentral.net to learn more.