Indonesia Part 1
Suzette Goes To Indonesia
While trying to further my research and love for sugar gliders, I actually took a trip to Indonesia during the month of July 7, 2009. I wanted to get a better understanding of the natural environment of these magnificent creatures.
I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday, July 7. I spent my first day driving hours out into the jungle on the island of Java. I went way out in the jungle away from any civilization. On day two of my trip, I met with a breeder of sugar gliders. I spent many hours discussing the caging and diet that they use for their own sugar gliders. I was able to see their version of the food that they feed their pet and breeder sugar gliders. It was a combination of bananas, papaya, nectar and crickets. The sugar gliders seemed to love it. On day three of my trip, I met with another sugar glider breeder. Again, we discussed their sugar gliders caging and diet. I was able to see different color morphs that I have never seen here in the United States. I was able to look at sugar gliders from the different Indonesian islands. My own personal observations were that the sugar gliders there were thinner than our sugar gliders bred in captivity and some of the sugar gliders there had bigger bodies than ours. As far as the weight, I’m sure it’s all about exercise and maybe the different locales factor in on the sizes. I then headed back to Houston on Friday.
The one thing I will never forget (and haven’t been able to get out of my head ever since) were the beautiful, tall, tall trees. I was approximately 80’ up on a cliff and when I looked down, all I could see were trees for miles. It was a wonderful sight. I just kept thinking what beauty God has made for us to enjoy!!
I saw sugar gliders from Merauke and Nabire on the island of Irian Jaya. If you see the attached map, you can see the locales these animals originate from. I personally believe the sugar gliders from Merauke are probably the closest to the Australian sugar gliders. The sugar gliders from Merauke are caramel and caramel albinos with very red eyes. The sugar gliders from Nabire are mostly white tip tails.
I will continue to work with a number of top sugar glider veterinarians here in the United States to further our studies on housing and nutrition.
My only vision/dream now is to return to the jungle and continue my research on these awesome animals. On my return to Indonesia, I will be accompanied by a number of veterinarians. Our ongoing studies will be to analyze a sugar glider’s natural diet and housing requirements. We want to learn more about what we can do to make them happier in captivity. We want this to be a long term study over the next 5 or 6 years in Indonesia and possibly Australia. If all goes well, we may extend our studies even further.
I believe that I am one of the few sugar glider breeders that have actually travelled outside of the United States to get a closer glimpse of these amazing creatures in their own environment. I want to do the best for my sugar gliders as well as my customer’s sugar gliders. I want my babies to be happy and yours as well.
To be continued...