Are Sugar Gliders Legal in Arizona?

If you’re considering getting a sugar glider as a pet in Arizona, it’s important to first understand the legalities surrounding these adorable creatures. Sugar gliders, also known as pocket pets or sugar bears, are small marsupials native to Australia and Indonesia.

In many states, including Arizona, the legality of owning certain animals is determined by whether they are considered native or non-native species. Native species are those that naturally occur within the state’s borders, while non-native ones have been introduced from other regions.

In Arizona, sugar gliders fall under the category of non-native species. This means that specific regulations and permits may be required for their ownership.

The primary legislation governing exotic animal ownership in Arizona is known as the Exotic Wildlife Law (Title 17-301). According to this law:

  • Residents who possess or transport any wildlife classified as exotic must obtain an “exemption number” from the Arizona Game and Fish Department before acquiring these animals.
  • An exemption number can be obtained after meeting certain criteria set by the department.
  • Failing to comply with these regulations can result in fines or other penalties.

Sugar Glider Classification by AZGFD:

“Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) – requires registration/exemption.”

Regardless of legal requirements, owning any pet comes with responsibilities. Sugar gliders have specific needs that potential owners should be aware of before bringing them home:

  • Sugar gliders are social animals and require companionship, so it’s recommended to own at least two.
  • They need a large cage with plenty of space for climbing and exercise.
  • A balanced diet is crucial for their health, consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and specialized sugar glider pellets.
  • Owning a sugar glider involves providing mental stimulation through toys and activities.
  • Veterinary care from an experienced exotic animal veterinarian is essential to ensure the well-being of these unique pets.

Owning a sugar glider in Arizona requires complying with the state’s regulations on non-native species. Understanding the Exotic Wildlife Law and obtaining the necessary permits or exemptions from the Arizona Game and Fish Department is vital before acquiring a sugar glider as a pet. Additionally, responsible ownership involves meeting their specific needs for companionship, housing, nutrition, stimulation, and veterinary care. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy having a legally owned and happy sugar glider companion in your home!