Previous Next
Sometimes the only thing to keep you company on a cold winter’s night is a pet cockroach.

Check out these 15 examples of unusual pets kept around the world. Then next time you’re caught in the midst of some tedious debate between a cat lover and a dog lover about which is the better pet, you can just turn to them and say, “Actually, I’m more of a hippo person myself.”

Pets

 

About The Author

Daniel Nahabedian

Daniel left behind his cubicle in 2009 to start a RTW journey & follow his true passion: photography. He is currently settling down in Thailand to work on his Travel Photo Blog Canvas of Light & become a full time freelance Travel Photographer.

  • Adri

    Very unusual! I wonder how the lama feel tough, living in an apartment … I love pic#1, sweet!

  • http://themacondirectory.com/page17.php macon pets

    Some very good pics. Especially love the one with the kids and the (BOOO!) gator

  • http://www.whereispot.com Jacopo

    Very nice and funny pets=)

    But pets should stay at THEIR home, not ours….

  • http://www.deliciouschaos.com/ Nick Rowlands

    I’m a rock person myself ; )

    Great piece! But is it me, or is that skunk related somehow to Freddy Kreuger?

  • Aubrey

    As a veterinarian who has seen her fair share of poorly treated and kept exotic animals, I feel it is very irresponsible for you to be promoting ownership of wild animals on this website. The truth is, alligators, hippos, skunks, and most other non-domesticated wild animals make terrible, dangerous pets and it is extremely rare to have owners who appropriately feed and care for them. They come into the clinic for malnutrition all the time, and the US has millions of animals each year who the owners give up, release into the wild, or attempt to give to sanctuaries because the animals become aggressive or violent, destroy the house, or have other unacceptable behavior once they reach sexual maturity. Sanctuaries in this country are filled to capacity with animals people bought without realizing what they were getting into, then try to dump on others. We no longer have room for these animals, and many will be euthanized or continue to be kept in poor conditions. I urge any readers to become well informed on this subject. Ferrets, llamas/alpacas, hamsters etc are animals that have been domesticated for generations or centuries, and with proper education and treatment can be good pets. Primates, smaller cats like bobcats/servals, large cats like tigers/lions/cheetahs, many large reptiles, and many wild birds are not appropriate pets at all. Additionally, many species, such as chameleons, wild parrots, and exotic fish are being driven to extinction by the exotic pet trade.

  • jocelyn
  • http://www.collazoprojects.com Julie

    My parents had sugar gliders- and lots of other unusual pets- while I was growing up. My favorite, though, was a spider monkey.

  • http://holesinmysoles.blogspot.com/ Jim

    I’m not sure that promoting more exotic pets is such a good thing.Given the growing trade in endangered wildlife to satisfy such demand, all around the world.
    Stick with the rocks!Plenty of those around.
    Hey, and how many of you can lay claim to having a genuine Zebra Rock as a pet?
    http://www.minsocam.org/msa/collectors_corner/arc/zebra.htm
    Now that’s the tops in having a pet!

    • http://www.deliciouschaos.com/ Nick Rowlands

      Thanks for the comment, Jim.

      Agree that the trade in endangered wildlife to satisfy the demand for exotic pets is not cool, and not something we’d want to promote. As far as I’m aware, the only animal on this list that is endangered for that reason is the Emperor Scorpion, which we point out in the caption. Axolotyls are also endangered in the wild, though this is nothing to do with their being used as pets, but is a result of water pollution and the introduction of non-native, predatory species to their habitat.

      Zebra rocks definitely rock – and dating back to the Cambrian, that must make them the oldest pets in the world, no?! Gotta get me one of them ; )

  • http://www.driftersblog.com/ Pastore Riel

    To be honest I’ve always wanted a pet hedgehog. There’s definitely something intriguing about them, safe but spiky, cute but curious. The sugargliders would come in for a close second.

  • ben

    I’m fairly sure Australian authorities don’t allow their native reptiles to be shipped around the world and sold as pets.

    The illegal trade in exotic pets/wildlife further threatens already endangered species and the animals often wind up in the care of people who have no idea how to properly look after their exotic new friend.
    Just because it’s possible to obtain a strange new pet doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, y’know…

    Aside from a collection of cute pics, I’m not sure I can really see the point of an article like this
    The dragon, the alligator, the hippo, the sugar gliders and the skunk all seem like particlularly ill-advised choices.
    Remove the skunk’s scent gland? C’mon…

    • http://canvas-of-light.blogspot.com/ Daniel N.

      Thank you for your comments Ben,
      The point of this essay is just a fun way to show that some people have successfully adopted unusual animals as their pets. In any way we are promoting illegal trade of exotic animals of course.
      Some of these pets are endangered in their wild habitats due to human pollution/intervention but most of them are also sold by respectable breeders. Some even survived extinction thanks to breeding!
      Even cats and dogs were wild animals centuries ago until Humans started using them as pets. Removing scent glands seems as bad as castrating a cat but it is a common procedure now with pet owners.

      But I completely agree with you that no one should ever take care of a pet (any pet) unless they have the proper finances, time and knowledge.

  • AJ

    the giant rhinoceros beetle is actually a popular pet item in Japan.. it’s sold at pet stores, hardware shops, and even some vending machines across the country!.. I’ve heard some people even bet on fights in some of the southern islands.. I’m actually in the process of setting up a tank and trying my hand at breeding the little beasts

  • http://thefutureisred.com Leigh Shulman

    Fantastic post, Daniel. Great photos too!

    I can’t imagine having a hippo as a pet. I’d always heard they have nasty tempers and a hard flat bite.

  • http://annemerritt.blogspot.com Anne

    I “awwww”-ed out loud at the hedgehog! Cool stuff.

  • http://holesinmysoles.blogspot.com/ nev

    ”Agree that the trade in endangered wildlife to satisfy the demand for exotic pets is not cool, and not something we’d want to promote. ”
    But by the very nature of this essay promoting exotic pets, are you not sending a message that the more exotic a pet you have the more cool it is?Perhaps promoting even in just a small way that it’s OK to raid wildlife just to have some sort of status symbol?
    So it’s not the fact that an animal is endangered, but the subtle encouragement that you gotta have something unusual as a pet.That gator deserves to be left in the wild.That bearded lizard also.And the encouragement to spread insects around from one country to another has got to be questioned.
    I have to admit to sadness at seeing this sort of essay on this site.A site that does a lot to promote the thinking, aware traveller.
    I do a lot to promote conservation awareness but this essay promoting exotic pets leaves me really disapointed.

  • http://joshywashington.wordpress.com joshua johnson

    Ever since I had a gray squirrel as a pet ( something i wouldn’t recommend in a Seattle apt!) I have always wanted to have a sugar glider. Everything I loved about a squirrel without the profuse blood loss…but that Hedgehog is pretty darn cute… Oh no, my cat is getting jealous!

  • http://holesinmysoles.blogspot.com/ Nev

    Personally ,this second sentence I quote of yours is as mistaken as is the headline,Daniel.(The point of this essay is just a fun way to show that some people have successfully adopted unusual animals as their pets. In any way we are promoting illegal trade of exotic animals of course.)I’m sure you really meant you were not promoting….In any we are promoting…??
    The headline says it all also, you need to have unusual exotic pets.And this essay is sending that message.
    Exotic pets belong in their exotic locations.
    Too often the reality is that owners aquire a python,a gator, a baboon etc as a baby,but as it grows it becomes too much for the owner.
    I know of one guy got a young python as a pet.It got out of it’s cage, and was never found in the apartment.It was thought to have hidden up under the lounger.The apartment changed hands shortly after.Florida has a problem in the wild with pythons and nile monitors dumped presumably by their owners.
    Insects should never be transported from one country to another,they often carry undesirable mites ,or viruses.Africa’s wild dogs and other wildlife suffer from diseases transmitted from introduced animals-the pets people have brought into that continent.
    It is sad to see this essay particularly with it’s heading on a website that does a very good job of raising traveller awareness on a host of issues.

  • http://matadortravel.com/traveler/evasandoval EvaSandoval

    Daniel, really fun photo essay! I want a hedgehog, but I *need* a sugar glider.

    @Nick – You said “Cambrian” – a word I haven’t heard since my gorgeous Paleoanthropology undergrad. My night is made.

    • SkiddlyyDiddly

      Me Too I Really Want A Hedge Hog

  • http://www.petslord.com/ pets blog

    hi Friend,I thought you post Photo Essay: 15 Unusual Pets That Could Be Yours is very useful.

    • Marysawolf

      I Want A Hedge Hogg Tooo

  • Chrissy

    These are bizarre but fascinating ideas! One animal that isn’t mentioned is the jellyfish. They require special circular tanks, but are as easy to care for as fish in regular home aquariums. Add some colored LED lights at the bottom of the tank and your jellies will glow! It’s pretty cool.

     Look up “Jellyfish Art” for more info! (www.jellyfishart.com)

  • Sealion67

    Can you really have a hippo?

  • Maddy Ouellett

    Hi everyone, please stop by and like “Yogi;s” page! My beautiful pet Porcupine. Please like his page while you are there.

  • Jasmine Rogers

    I have one with a purple shell.

  • Bailee Downer

    where can I buy a pet llama.

  • James Crewdson

    Where can I buy a pet rock?

  • James Crewdson

    Where can I buy a pet rock?

  • James Crewdson

    Where can I buy a pet rock?

  • James Crewdson

    Where can I buy a pet rock?

  • James Crewdson

    Where can I buy a pet rock?

  • Phillip Osipov

    I want a skunk.

  • Saman

    I can’t speak English very well so I can just say you have a good site and I love pets but I don’t have any pets. I hate scorpion but I like Llama. I think the Llama is very cute.
    Good luck my friend

Where to hike with your dog within Philadelphia city limits.
"I don't know what's wrong with him!" my mother screamed over the phone.
I daydream about the day when I’ll get to a cat cafe in London or Japan.
It can take months of preparation and careful planning to move abroad with a pet.
Meet Team Wapusk - Churchill's dog sled leaders.
For those who fear the unknown of subjecting their cat to air travel - a vignette and...
Don't say "Yes" just yet. Ask yourself these questions first.
Why you should think about adopting a special needs or older pet
Tips for buying and training a bird that talks.
The perfect joy of a dog greeting his master on returning home from war leaves even the...
What is it about a cat in a fruit helmet that just makes you want to smile?
Animals do not need much to be happy, but they do need consistency and care.
After a "gay dog" in Australia is refused entry to a restaurant, Leigh Shulman starts to...