Exotic pets are taking the place of cats and dogs in our homes and in our hearts. Owning an animal is definitely no longer what it used to be. Snakes, tarantulas or sugar gliders are occupying nowadays large boxes inside pet shops as they become more and more popular. So why would anyone want to adopt say, a piranha? Many people want to own a quirky pet in order to show it off to their buddies, to different or because it is trendy. Whatever the reason, it sure isn’t for the love and affection the piranha offers to his master! Here is a list of 10 of the most popular exotic pets on the market :
1. The Tarantula
Ones of the most unusual pets, tarantulas are widely known as very dangerous. However, this is not quite true, apparently. In fact, it seems that they are not aggressive at all. Moreover, most of the tarantula’s venin is not dangerous for humans. The ones that are really gifted with a fatal poison cannot be found in regular pet shops, but rather deep in the jungle. There is one other important fact you should know before going ahead and buy one of these exotic pets: While a male lives for few years, the female might stay around for almost 20 years.
2. The Sugar glider
This is a little, cute marsupial from Australia. In its natural environment, it glides through the trees and its ‘flights’ can be 45 meters long! The sweet looking thing is very friendly and really loves the companionship of humans. However, you may find this fact disturbing, since the sugar glider is a nocturne creature and its affection may keep you awake at night. Also, you may want to make sure they find your home welcoming by offering them some branches to climb on.
3. The Scorpion
You probably wonder why anyone would want a pet that does not enjoy the attention of man, and that may sting its owner. However, many people love having them around. It may be for their exotic feel, or maybe they are awesome pets to impress your friends with. Whatever the case, the Emperor scorpions, the most appreciated among the scorpion species, are threatened with extinction in the wild, because of being excessively trapped and sold as pets.
4. The Piranha
The Piranha is a very dangerous and their bad reputation is not exaggerated at all. If you are thinking of adopting piranhas as pet, then you should better think twice. Or thrice, for that matter. If you are decided to go for it, than you should know that they are quite large, especially if you compare them with traditional aquarium fish. Then, remember that they do not enjoy living by themselves, so you should buy at least three piranhas which should be kept in a large tanks. Coexisting with different other species is a very hard thing, but it is not impossible, especially if they have enough space and they are well fed.
5. Kinkajou or Honey Bear
Exotic pets owners favor this little fellow for its affectionate, friendly nature. Brought to you directly from the rainforest of Central and South America, the honey bear may live up to 40 years in captivity. Most of their diet consists in fruits but they also enjoy eating insects, and if in captivity, they love honey. Even if they seem harmless, they are not quite so! If a kikanjou feels threatened, it may become aggressive and bite the potential attacker. Its bite is dangerous as it may be loaded with bacteria and it seems hurtful as well. Paris Hilton is an excellent example of the fact that unusual pets are not always the best choice of a person looking for a furred friend: her little kinkajou called Baby Luv sent her to the hospital twice.
6. The Bengal cat
The Bengal cat is a new hybrid breed, a cross between the domestic cat and the Asian Leopard Cat. It represents the perfect mixture of a wild appearance and the sweet, lovable character of a domestic cat. These pets may turn out really costly. The more pure-bred a cat is, the more you will pay to have one. One was sold for 42,000$ in 1998!
7. The Snake
It is not easy to raise snakes as pets. Above the ‘danger’ element which is obvious and very well known, snakes require special care and conditions. Therefore, you should buy a snake only if you are ready to learn and if you have the patience to understand and obey their needs. When owning a snake, you should be ready to feed them prey animals, and to make space in your fridge for frozen prey creatures. Also, you must be aware of the fact that snakes do not miss any opportunity to escape from their tanks and that large constrictors and venomous snakes are a big NO.
8. The Monkey
Baby monkeys are cherished as exotic pets because they are so children like that wake up our parenting instinct. Many people put them in dippers and see them as sweet, helpless creatures. However, these baby pets grow up to become real trouble makers. They can be really stubborn and since they are smarter than other pets, they are also harder to handle. Unlike other animals, monkeys cannot be ignored, as they require your permanent attention and care, throughout their entire lives, regardless of your problems, your busy schedules or changed life style.
9. The Hedgehog
The hedgehogs make really cute, though unusual, pets and you may find yourself enjoying the company of this irresistible little friend. Its quills are not as threatening as you might think- they feel more like a rough brush and their needs are not big : they have little odor, they do not require any walks and feeding them is not a problem. Hedgehogs even enjoy cuddling and they are known to purr if satisfied.
10 The Axolotl
This is a species of salamander originating in Lake Texcoco underlying Mexico City. They are known for their capacity of regenerating most of their body part, reason for which they are used in scientific research. As a pet, Axolotl became popular recently because of its unusual appearance and of its unique qualities. The Axolotl is not the usual salamander since they do not undergo metamorphose from larvae to adults and remain aquatic and gilled all their lives, although they have legs. If you decide to take one as pet, do consider the fact that they will grow pretty large so they will need a large tank. Except for this characteristic, these exotic pets do not have special needs and are easy to raise.