Like many of you in quarantine, I’ve turned to binge watching to cull my boredom. That means lots of Netflix, Hulu, and the newest season of HBO’s Westworld. But there is a show that has caught the national eye, Tiger King.
This insane true crime documentary focuses on the life of zookeeper Joe Exotic. Every episode brings in new vile characters and a number of twists and turns. If you’re looking for something that is truly insane to watch, this is it.
But this also got me thinking about some of the weird animals that we keep as pets. Most people stick to the favorites like cats, dogs, and birds. But there is a whole world of exotic pets that people have tried to domesticate. Now before I list them, note that I do not condone owning any of them. That is up to you and the laws in your area.
Since I was a kid, I had always been aware that people owned snakes. There was always that one kid in your class that did it. But these were relatively small and harmless.
Unfortunately, some people decided to up their game and take in Burmese Pythons as pets. These start small but can get up to 18 feet in length. So many short-sighted owners learned that the hard way and let these snakes out into the wild when they grew too large to take care of.
This has unfortunately led to a disaster in Florida, particularly the Everglades. Pythons are an invasive species that devour anything in their path. They are apex predators that are even known to take down alligators. This has caused the ecosystem in the area to get messed up. Currently the state is doing their best to hunt them down and eliminate them. But with how quickly they breed and in such mass quantities, it’s near impossible.
Tigers and Lions
Did you know there are more tigers living in legal captivity in the United States than there are in the wild across the globe? Laws on this seem to vary, although it does appear to be illegal to sell them in the United States. But not to own one. And globally there are places where you can buy lion cubs online.
You may know that Mike Tyson famously owned tigers. But this is no easy task. A fully grown lion or tiger may need to eat up to 100 pounds of meat in one sitting. They need incredibly large enclosures. And while they have been domesticated to an extent, they are still wild animals that can lash out at a moments notice. This can lead to serious injury or in many cases death. I think I’ll just enjoy these majestic creatures from a distance.
In 15 states it is currently legal to own a pet fox. This depends on the breed however and most owners choose the fennec fox for their docile nature and near domestication.
Reading through some forums, they appear to live like normal cats and dogs do in a home. But despite their friendliness with humans, they are still not fully domesticated. There are plenty of issues that arise with owning one.
This seems like a bad idea from the start. Especially from someone who had a dog get skunked in the past. If you’ve experienced that smell, you never want to be near one again.
With that said, some people are taking them in as pets. They are bred in captivity and have their scent glands removed. This is controversial and seen as inhumane by many animal experts. It puts them at a major disadvantage if they are released in the wild. And these creatures love to escape.
With that said, skunks are incredibly friendly and affectionate as pets. There are videos on YouTube showing this. I was blown away by this.
As a fan of Friends when I was a kid, I thought it would be wonderful to own a pet monkey. Not the full sized ones, but the little capuchin monkey that Ross had. They are smart, friendly, and mischievous.
But they’re also a handful. They require constant care and attention like a child. Since they are highly intelligent, they can get themselves in trouble quite easily. And since they can live up to 40 years, you better be in this for the long haul.
Yes I’ve heard they make great pets. But no. Just no.