PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland Reddit post Monday spurred a social debate about whether sugar gliders should be sold at the Rose Festival.

Sugar gliders are small, nocturnal marsupials that glide through the air in search of food. But they are often sold as "pocket pets" at fairs and other events.

And there is a kiosk selling them at the Rose Festival.

"I would think it would be common sense that the shady looking kiosk selling sensitive nocturnal animals in the heat and daylight of the Waterfront would not have their best interests at heart but they seemed extremely popular," Redditor SamSnackLover said Monday morning in a post. "These places sell diseased animals that are kept in extraordinarily cruel conditions ... I'm really disturbed that they were allowed a kiosk at the Rose Festival."

But Rose Festival spokesman Rich Jarvis told KGW the company is a legitimate business and isn't breaking any festival rules.

"I did read the links and fully understand and appreciate the concerns and issue raised," he said. "However these folks are USDA-approved and have all their certifications and licensees up to date and in compliance."

He also said the company has operated in the Northwest before, even in Portland as recently as the Cinco de Mayo Festival.

PETA and other organizations have been protesting the sale of sugar gliders at mobile kiosks and elsewhere, claiming such sales leave the animals vulnerable to impulse buyers who may not have the wherewithal to care for their new pets.

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