On New Years Eve we decided to once again try to introduce Ginger and Clyde. We had tried before but there was too much fighting and Clyde spent a lot of time just chasing Ginger around. You'd reckon after doing dozens upon dozens of successful introductions over the years, we'd have this all figured out by now. But it's kind of hit and miss. After conferring with Kazko here and seeing how his "wet" method worked with his seven male suggies, we decided to try it out on Clyde and Ginger.
By the way, the reason Clyde and Ginger were single to begin with is they were both ejected by their respective colonies - both having received nasty back wounds that took a month or so to heal. As we hate to see single gliders languishing alone, we do our best to join them.
Now if you have not heard of Terry's method, this is going to sound weird but... You get them both wet and put them in a small cage. You let them sit wet for a while. Instead of establishing dominance or going crazy over the scent of the strange animal, the glider sits and worries about getting dry. You then put a small pouch in the cage and turn a light on the cage. The gliders then immediately retreat the pouch to dry off. They are forced to interact and their scents co-mingle as they dry off. You then let them stay in the pouch (the light keeps them in there for the most part) and in the morning you feed them and put them in a larger (neutral) cage.
This method may sound cruel to some, given that gliders avoid getting wet and it is not recommended to bathe them. But it is much less cruel than allowing gliders to live a single life - which is stressful, lonely, and often leads to self-mutilation. Besides they are only wet for a few hours, not a lifetime. So it's worth a try.
After about 8 hours of being in the pouch together, Ginger emerged solo and was greeted with crabs and fussing when she tried to get back into the pouch. Clyde was being territorial over the pouch. We swapped them to a new cage and put a few pouches and a nesting box in there. After eating a little and running on the wheel a little this morning, Clyde retreated to the new pouch and Ginger bedded down in the nesting box.
It is not uncommon for gliders who are just introduced to be tentative towards each other or for one to extert dominance. This is OK so long as there are no big fights. So far, there have been no big fights, but Clyde is chasing Ginger around a little. We will keep a close eye on them to make sure they are still compatible over the next couple of days. With any luck, things will calm down and they will grow closer. Otherwise, we may have to separate them if Clyde gets too aggressive.
Here are photos:
Clyde running on the wheel
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