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Southern Flying Squirrel as Pets

Most wildlife biologists condemn the keeping of wildlife as pets. Many U.S. states have laws in place that make it illegal to capture, sell, or keep native wildlife, and other states require a special permit to do so. It is illegal to keep native wildlife in captivity in Canada without a special permit.

However, some believe that if obtained at a young age, Southern flying squirrels are easily tamed and can form tight and long-lasting bonds with their owners.

Chinchilla

The "bonding pouch" method, whereby the owner carries the young squirrel in a bag or pocket every day for several weeks, is often used to nurture this relationship; this allows the squirrel to become familiar with the voice, smell, and heartbeat of its owner, and associate these things with a sense of security.

Although more difficult, this method can also be used to bond with an older flyer, but they will often retain more independence than those trained at a young age. Bonded flyers are very social and require a significant commitment in time from their owners.

Flyers in captivity require a tall, large cage with room to glide. The cage walls should be wire mesh with spacing no larger than 1"x0.5". They should be kept in the dark during the day, due to their nocturnal natures. Flyers can be fed on a commercial bird seed blend supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. Hard-shelled nuts should also be provided to prevent overdevelopment of the teeth.

Captive flying squirrels are prone to calcium deficiency if fed an improper diet, and this can lead to seizures, rickets, and an early death. Furthermore, as they are social and nocturnal animals, living without other squirrels or being disturbed during the day may significantly increase their stress levels.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Flying_Squirrel

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