Leah Moore wasn’t prepared for what awaited her on her Parksville doorstep Monday.

“Yeah I got quite a shock,” said the founder of Flying Fur Animal Rescue & Refuge.

“I was just picking it up.”

She thought someone had donated some supplies or food.

“Sure enough as I opened it there’s this little thing jumping out.”

The contents of a cardboard vodka box literally leaped into her face, bulging eyes and all.

“It really freaked me out,” said Moore.

“It scared me a lot at first.”

The mystery drop-off turned out to be a sugar glider. An exotic Australian marsupial that with its fur cape can soar from tree to tree.

The glider’s tail was badly injured though and needed vet care. It’s why Moore suspects it was abandoned on her doorstep.

“We are appreciative that they cared enough to bring it to a rescue and not just release it into the wild,” said Moore.

Moore has operated her animal refuge in Parksville for five years, offering a temporary home for everything from pot-bellied pigs to rats, bunnies and ferrets. There’s even a massive boa constrictor named Thor being cared for after it turned up in a man’s driveway and he didn’t want it.

“Injured and sick animals just seem to find me for some reason,” said Moore.

“She’s got a very good heart when it comes to the animals and stuff yeah,” said volunteer Kenny Bunton.

The exotic sugar glider, that Moore’s now named “Lilo,” is healing up now from her operation and will soon be looking for a home.

“She’s come on leaps and bounds in just a couple of days,” said Moore’s mother Charlotte.

“So Leah’s quite amazing with her knowledge.”

Skye Ryan