From stinky skunks to a howling hyena, we count ten outrageous animals kept as pets!
10 – Skunk,
- Skunks are like the stinky jesters of the animal kingdom, but that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of people from wanting them as pets! They were originally kept by farmers, who used them to scare birds and rodents away from their crops, but thousands of ordinary suburbanites now own them all over Canada and the US.
- Unless you’re looking for a way to mask your terrible B.O. problem, it’s pretty much mandatory for skunk owners to have their pet’s scent glands surgically removed. Other than that, a tricky diet and maybe the odd rabies scare, skunks make for excellent pets. They’re clever, curious, super affectionate and surprisingly easy to train.
- They live for about twelve years, but if you’re thinking of getting one you better be sure because domesticated skunks can’t be released into the wild. They’ll be helpless without their super stinky, yet super effective defence mechanism.
9 – Lion,
- Big cats are a surprisingly common domestic pet; in fact, there are over 10,000 tigers roaming backyards in the US alone!
- But the most famous case of big cat ownership has got to be Tippi Hedren. This actress and animal-rights activist made headlines around the world for adopting a pet lion and letting it roam freely around her California Neil the 400-pound lion frolicked in the pool with his adopted family and was even allowed to sleep in bed with Tippi’s teenage daughter!
- Five years of this eccentric family’s experience – yep, even the multiple life-threatening injuries – were captured in the 1981 film Roar.
8 – Tarantula,
- Big hairy spiders are a most people’s worst nightmare, but that hasn’t stopped the infamous tarantula from becoming a surprisingly common pet.
- There are over 800 species of Tarantula found virtually all over the world. Although they do bite, their venom is generally non-lethal and they’d much rather run away than tango with humans.
- Tarantulas have an average lifespan of 10–25 years and, depending on their age and species, range from being as little as a fingernail to as large as a dinner plate. The tarantula is great for those who want an unconventional, low-maintenance pet … and those who just want to scare the shit out their younger siblings.
7 – Chimpanzees,
- If you want a pet that’s exotic, intelligent and five times stronger than you, consider our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This endangered species is legal to own in the US – if you’re brave, have a spare $60,000 and are willing to spend sixty years to looking after it.
- Obviously, they’re not the easiest pet to look after. Because of their huge size and remarkable intellect chimps need a large space and constant stimulation. Trust me: the last thing you want is a bored chimpanzee, as these 100-pound creatures can be gold medallists at causing mass destruction.
- Chimps are also highly territorial and will lash out without warning if they think you’re intruding on their space. Still, if you’re game, looking after a chimpanzee will put you in good stead when primates eventually rise up and overthrow us.
6 – Sugar Glider,
- For those who haven’t heard of them sugar gliders are an exotic breed of gliding possum that originated in Australia. These adorable critters are similar to flying squirrels and are ideal for people who live in tiny shoebox apartments.
- While not as dangerous as the king of the freaking jungle, humans do have to take care with pet sugar gliders, as they have a concealed pair of seriously sharp teeth. For this reason it’s probably not a good idea to have them around small children.
- For such a tiny creature, sugar gliders also make a lot of noise. Because they’re nocturnal, they like to screech, bark and purr all night long. But despite these issues, sugar gliders are social creatures that love to bond with people humans. You’ll get a whole lot of love – but not a whole lot of sleep.