'Exemplary family': Rare twin gliding possum cubs go on show at Urals zoo (VIDEO)
The tiny pair were born a month ago to parents Napoleon and
Josephine – who are, even more unusually, raising their children
together at Yekaterinburg Zoo, in the capital of Russia’s Urals
Now that the “quarantine” period has passed, the female and male cubs must live outside of their mother’s pouch as they are too big, and there is no longer enough space for them. They can no longer fit together, even though sugar gliders normally spend two months inside the mother’s pouch.
The tiny twins can still fit on the palms of the hands of zoo employees, but at full length they will grow to some 17 centimeters.
Gliding possums to not usually live in pairs as the father can act aggressively toward the children. However, so far Napoleon has not bitten the little ones and does not appear afraid of them.
“In general, they are an exemplary family,” zoo employee Christina Vdovina told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, describing their behavior as “strange.”
The twins do not yet have names. However, Vdovina says that it is
desirable they will have a “pair” name, as is the case with their
mother and father.
Although it is necessary for some staff at the zoo to have contact with the animals, the public are not permitted to handle the tiny animals.
Sugar gliders are native to Australia, and can also be found on islands such as Tasmania and Papua New Guinea. They are nocturnal creatures whose natural habitat is among the trees.
In captivity the animals can live up to 12 years.