Sugar Gliders: A PSAJuly 12, 2009
On a recent, rare trip to the mall, I was stunned to see a group of khaki-clad men and women set up in the space that is reserved for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They were promoting (and selling) “pocket pets.”
Curious, we stopped and looked. The pets were sugar gliders… something I’d never heard of before. They were adorable — imagine a cross between a chipmunk and King Julian from Madagascar — and, yes, they were small enough to fit in a pocket. The kids and I listed to the woman who was talking about what awesome pets they are, petted one, and then moved on.
Something made me incredibly uneasy about the operation, and I still can’t tell you what exactly that something was. Maybe it was the feeling of being witness to a live infomercial where the “product” was a cute little animal. Maybe it was the fact that each pet came with a “starter kit.” Maybe it’s that they were in a wide open space with no sort of restraint/barrier to prevent them from running out into the mall. I’m not sure. But the whole operation just made me feel sort of sick.
If you happen to run across this sort of thing at your local mall (or elsewhere) and you think it might be a good idea to have one of these critters for a pet, please view this video: