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To the Editor:

Pocket Pets will be at Hunting and Fishing Days selling Australian Marsupials (sugar bears or sugar gliders). The sale of sugar gliders has been banned from many malls and more than 1,700 retail locations. Six states have made sales illegal, but Illinois isn’t one of them. Keeping captive sugar gliders is banned in Australia.

Sugar gliders are pocket-sized marsupials that need lots of space to live happily. They are aboreal, live in tree canopies and are nocturnal. They live in family groups and are very social, living up to 15 years in the wild. Their favorite food is eucalyptus sap and insects. They do not belong in small cages. Left alone eating inappropriate food, they will die.

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Sugar gliders are one of the popular wild exotic animals sold in the U.S. Many are bred in captivity, others are captured wild in other parts of Indonesia, and brought to breeding farms in Jarkata. Researchers suggest more than 10,000 individuals are removed from their natural habitat each year and sold. Sugar glider breeders also exist in the U.S. Pocket Pets is a broker and has sold more than 75,000 of these wild animals at events like Hunting and Fishing Days. Sugar gliders are very cute animals but they are not domesticated and they should not be sold as pets. They are wild animals. Please ask Hunting and Fishing Days to ban Pocket Pets from its vending list! Adopt homeless cats or dogs instead, 6.5 million enter shelters every year.

Cade Bursell

Murphysboro

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