It may be surprising that exotic species are more common as pets than you may think. Exotic pets can range from tropical fish to reptiles to even birds such as emus. These unique creatures make for great pets however require an extensive amount of care.
Examples of popular Exotic Pets
Tropical fish: In recent years, the clown pleco has become popular with pet owners. This is a type of tropical catfish, originating from South America, which grows up to 4” long and therefore, generally do not like sharing a tank with other fish. In saying this, if the tank is large enough and the fish is provided with the right environment, it can adapt to having company.
Birds: Many people own exotic birds for pets such as budgies or parrots. In 2020, thanks to TikTok, a particular parrot found its claim to fame, an African Grey, called ‘Chanel’. African Grey parrots are amongst some of the most popular exotic pets in Europe, America, and the Middle East due to their long life span and intelligence.
Reptiles: It is increasingly common for homeowners to have a type of reptile as a companion, such as a bearded dragon, chameleon (taking after Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled) or a ball python. These pets are attractive due to their calm nature and longer life span than your typical family pet.
5 Celebrities who keep Exotic Pets in their Home
Alley, best known for her role in the TV show, ‘Cheers’, does not own just one exotic pet, but 14 ring-tailed lemurs. These exotic animals do not make for great domestic pets though as they prefer to be wild in their natural habitat and therefore prefer to stay in a large group, hence why the Cheers actress has a large group of these exotic animals.
The actor has owned an array of exotic pets across a number of years, including a crocodile, octopus, and a shark as well as a pair of albino king cobras. This particular species of cobra is extremely rare and is not recommended to own as a pet due to their dangerous venom alongside their extensive dietary needs. It is also important to note that this type of exotic pet is illegal in many countries.
Paris Hilton famously owns two Kinkajous, a tropical rainforest mammal, related to raccoons. Also known as honeybears, Kinkajous are relatively friendly and curious pets. As this exotic creature originates from the rainforest, prospective pet owners should ensure that the animal has plenty of room to exercise. Due to their wild nature, Kinkajous can become aggressive when held in captivity and have been known to become aggressive with their owners.
The former professional boxer previously owned a pet tiger, a white Bengal tiger named, ‘Kenya’. Tyson has stated in the past that he got the pet tiger as he was a “young guy and thought it would be cool”. After the 2020 Netflix documentary aired about Joe Exotic, “The Tiger King”, this maybe had you considering a pet tiger however, ownership of a tiger or any other large cat is usually not recommended due to their ability to kill. After all, they are wild animals.
Owning an exotic pet is not just a modern phenomenon, as demonstrated by the iconic movie star, Audrey Hepburn. In 1959, Hepburn took home a fawn which she was working alongside on a movie. After striking up a close bond with the deer, the onset trainer suggested the actress take it home.