It was more than sweet dreams for John Zou, 27, when a sugar glider flew into his bedroom at 5am on a Monday morning last month.
Speaking to the RSPCA, John said: “I was asleep and woke up to the noise of something running around the bedroom. I was scared it might be a rat but when I went to investigate, I found this little creature.”
John trapped the creature in his sixth-floor London flat. He then sent a picture of the animal to some friends who helped him identify it as a sugar glider, before he called the RSPCA for help.
Inspector Francesca Tambini collected the little glider, native to Australia, New Guinea and parts of Indonesia, from John’s flat.
John believes that the glider flew into his flat through an open window on his balcony, having escaped from a neighbouring flat where it may have been kept as a pet. However, the glider’s owner could not be found.
Francesca said: “Sugar gliders look incredibly cute, and this little guy is adorable. It’s easy to see why people might be tempted to buy them as pets but we would urge them to reconsider; these animals need very specialist care, and we don’t believe they are suitable as pets.”
Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal gliding possums, who love sugary foods and are arboreal, meaning they spend their lives up in the trees and can glide for 50 metres or more; the kind of space which is difficult to provide in a typical home.
These creatures are also sociable animals and shouldn’t be kept on their own, in captivity they require a UVB light to prevent metabolic bone disease, and they must be fed an appropriate diet.
The possum now resides with a specialist and experienced keeper in Cambridgeshire.