Animal Diaries Archive
28 October 2005In the Mammals Department we are lucky enough to look after three beautiful Squirrel Glider boys. The Squirrel Glider is a gliding possum, commonly referred to as a wrist-winged glider as they have folds of skin on both sides of their bodies running between front and hind limbs that enable them to glide from tree to tree. These cute little marsupials are nocturnal and can be found in tree hollows in dry forests and woodlands. And guess what? We Aussies get these little guys all to ourselves, as Squirrel Gliders are endemic to Australia (i.e. not found anywhere else in the world).
Unfortunately though, these guys are under threat and currently hold a vulnerable species status, mainly due to the depletion of their natural habitat.
Here at the Australia Zoo, our boys are treated to lots of juicy fruits, vegies, browse, bark sap and insects which they happily gobble up in their enclosure overnight. These guys are super cute, but very shy and timid, with the exception of little Cairns.
Cairns loves to be spoilt and looks forward to being hand-fed mealworms and his favourite fruits, followed by a cuddle and a run around on the shoulders of his favourite keepers, who definitely look forward to spending time with him as well.
To make things a whole lot more exciting the boys recently moved into a new and improved enclosure, and if that wasn't good enough they were treated to some 'glider launchpads'. The launchpads are small logs drilled into the walls of their enclosure providing them extra places to jump and launch themselves from within their enclosure. It also provides keepers with extra secret places to hide special treats in and tie ropes from to play. Ultimately it gives these cute little guys more space to exercise have fun and utilise every centimetre of their new enclosure.
It didn't take long for Cairns to come out and investigate his new surroundings, and we are pretty sure we got the tick of approval.