According to Forbes, 66% of U.S. homeowners own pets. Most people opt for traditional options like cats and dogs when keeping furry pets. But for some daring souls, a cat or a dog won’t do, so they go for the exotic animals. This article delves into the most unusual pets people have kept.

1. Grizzly Bear

Topping the list of the most unusual pets is the grizzly bear. Imagine strolling in your backyard, not with a mower but with a grizzly bear. A grizzly bear is a subspecies of the Brown Bear found in North America. Its color ranges from blond to black and measures around 102 cm. They have a lifespan of about 20 to 50 years.

Keeping a grizzly bear as a pet can be dangerous for you and your family. Due to their massive size, a small swipe from their paws can injure or even kill you. Even if you tame the bear, that does not mean that it cannot attack you.

Some states in the U.S. allow people to keep grizzly bears as pets. According to World Population Review, seven states, including Wisconsin, Delaware and South Carolina, allow people to rear bears. However, you must meet specific requirements to keep one in your home. Despite being dangerous, grizzly bears have some interesting facts about them.

One of the most interesting facts about grizzly bears is their level of intelligence. They have a great sense of memory; grizzlies can recall exact feeding points. Grizzles use body language and vocalizations to communicate with other bears, demonstrating their high social intelligence. Also, grizzly bears can hide their tracks from hunters, showing their intelligence.

Another fun fact about grizzly bears is their excellent swimming skills. They swim in search of food, mates and new territories. Swimming also serves as a means of thermoregulation, allowing them to cool down during the hot weather. Some of these facts entice most homeowners to keep them as pets.

2. Lion

When you think of a cuddly pet, a cat or a dog will come to mind. Now envision yourself cuddling with a lion; that’s the most unusual thing, right? Unless you own a steakhouse, this’s one of the pets that is dangerous to keep. Failure to feed it well and you might be its next meal. Lions are also huge creatures, and the sight of one can even scare you.

The way lions communicate makes having one for a pet unusual. A lion roaring in your compound is such a showstopper. Even though lions can send shivers to people, they have quite some interesting facts about them and probably why people keep them.

Lions are known for their striking beauty; they have amazing golden coats and awe-evoking manes. This character has made them associated with royalty, and most rich people consider having them as pets. People also keep them because of their strength; lions have muscular and deep-chested bodies and are very big. People might consider keeping them as pets to safeguard their homes.

3. Hyena

Adult hyenas are well-known for their aggressive behavior. They are dangerous, making them one of the most unusual pets. Attempting to domesticate them requires a certain level of expertise to understand their wild nature.

Despite unlikable traits, hyenas have some interesting attributes. For instance, they’re vocal creatures; hyenas laugh and giggle. This trait makes them lovable. Another good trait about them is their level of intelligence. Their problem-solving skills and adaptability in the wild testify to their cognitive abilities.

Young hyena love contact with human beings, and it’s possible to tame them. Unlike other pets, hyenas should be caged because as they grow older, they become wild. Also, keeping hyenas is costly, making it unusual to keep them as pets.

You might also require teeth cleaning services often to maintain their teeth and powerful jaws. Also, adopting one is very costly; buying one ranges between $1000 and $8000 per AZ Animals. Moreover, since it’s illegal to keep this exotic animal as a pet, you will require a permit which is also costly.

4. Hippopotamus

You have probably seen a baby hippo munching on a pumpkin in the zoo and got fascinated by the sight. But this animal is one of Africa’s deadliest mammals with a history of attacking humans. According to Africa Check, hippos kill around 500 people in Africa each year. These animals are also aggressive and territorial, meaning they like to have their own space and can attack if you go too close. Now having a pet with such characteristics is the most unusual thing, right?

One famous hippo pet is Jessica the hippo in South Africa. The owners claim that, unlike other hippos, Jessica is friendly, and one can even cuddle with it. However, it’s hard to believe such animals are fully tamed because some even kill their owners. The Guardian reported that a hippo pet called Humphrey had killed its owner. The report claimed Humphrey bit his owner to his death and submerged him in the water.

As such, it’s hard to determine the fate of such exotic mammals. If you love interacting with hippos, visiting them at the zoo is better than keeping them in your home. Zoo programs have equipment rentals providing a safer way to connect with these awesome animals.

5. Komodo Dragon

The Komodo Dragon is also on the list of most unusual pets. These fascinating reptiles native to Indonesian Islands are one of the largest lizards in the world. While their intriguing playfulness is well known, having one for a pet is unusual. Yes, they aren’t the mythical pets Khaleesi rode in Game of Thrones.

First, Komodo dragons are extremely venomous and can take down even the largest animals. The venom prevents blood from clotting and too much bleeding, leading to death. The shocking fact is that most hospitals lack its anti-venom; keeping it at your home poses a risk to you.

Also, Komodo dragons are huge animals and you must own a lot of space to keep them. A typical adult Komodo dragon is around 10.8 feet and can weigh up to 80 kg. These animals also eat a lot, and you must provide appropriate food. Unlike the conventional pet, the unique demands of the Komodo dragon make it a reserve of the few to have one as a pet.

What if you build a metal building for a Komodo dragon? This might provide a controlled environment for the pet but doesn’t guarantee safety. Furthermore, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Komodo dragon is endangered. Due to this, it’s illegal to own a Komodo dragon for now.

6. Alligator

Would you care for a pet that’s likely to grow up to 14 feet and has a lifespan of up to 80 years? Well, this idea tickles the fancies of some unique people. For example, The Guardian Association reported that a man named Joseph Henney went out of all odds by petting an alligator. He claimed that his alligator offered him emotional support during his mid-life crisis. While you might feel emotional about this and consider getting yourself a cuddly buddy, too, you should know a few things.

Alligators have strong jaws; lined up with up to 80 teeth. It gets cranky if you don’t feed it well and can decide to know how you taste. Keeping a pet that can feast on you is the most unusual thing, right?

These creatures also require an environment with lots of water to thrive. Consider keeping another pet if you plan to keep it in your bathtub. If the alligator doesn’t get enough water, it suffers from pain and might even die. Deep water helps to relieve the weight of the alligator’s internal organs, keeping it safe and calm. If you still want to keep one, you can seek help from rigging companies to set up a suitable habitat for an alligator.

7. Beavers

Beavers are well known for destroying wooden structures; now imagine it as a pet. You must be ready to keep replacing your wooden sofas and doors. One of the most unusual things is some people have kept them for pets.

Beakers are furry animals typically 0.9 to 1.2 m long. This means you can carry it around, just like you’d with a cat or a dog. People who keep beavers for pets claim they are highly intelligent and active. They’ll build dams and lodges in your backyard to create a mini-ecosystem for themselves.

While petting a beaver sounds intriguing, having one comes with challenges. Their instinct to modify their surroundings poses a threat to your property. This can result in changes in water flow patterns and damage nearby structures. Also, beavers are territorial animals; if they feel threatened, they can bite you. This means it’s not a perfect pet, especially if you have kids around because they might get hurt.

If you really adore beavers, consider going for a beaver tour via boat charters. During the trip, you’ll see beaver trails, dams, chewed trees and tracks. It’ll be an interesting way to see beavers from their natural ecosystems and, luckily, get to feed them.

8. Raccoon

According to Critter Control, raccoons carry many diseases and are dangerous to humans. However, some people have decided to ignore this fact and keep them as pets. Phill Kirby, featured by Daily Mail news, is a proud owner of an ‘adorable’ raccoon. He claims his raccoon enjoys walking, and other people love it. The unusual pet owner also says the raccoon enjoys sitting on his lap like any other pet.

The most unusual thing about keeping raccoons as pets is that they are defensive fighters. They can scratch you with their sharp claws or even bite you. You should know that raccoons can also have rabies, and one bite might endanger your health. They will also destroy your backyard or garden and feast on fruits and vegetables in your gardens.

If you or your kids are curious about these beautiful creatures, consider enrolling for a prep school summer camp. You’ll learn about the ecological roles and reasons for their wild nature there. Also, you’ll learn to understand why certain boundaries exist between human beings and some exotic animals.

9. Kangaroo

Falling on the list of most unusual pets to keep is the Kangaroo. Jackson, also featured in Daily Mail news, is not shy of showing the world how cool his kangaroo pet is. He says that his pet loves him so much and follows him everywhere. Although this sounds interesting, having a kangaroo for a pet endangers both you and the pet.

Baby Kangaroos are small and cute but grow up to 6 inches tall. They are also massive creatures and can weigh around 50 to I50 pounds. Hence, a small space around your home won’t accommodate the Kangaroo as they age. Also, kangaroos are social animals and live in groups called mobs. If not kept in their natural environments, kangaroos get anxious and might fall into depression.

According to Pet Keen, most kangaroos die due to insufficient space and social interaction. However, if you still want to keep a baby kangaroo, you must buy a heating device to provide it with all the warmth it needs. You can purchase a kangaroo baby warmer online to keep your fur baby comfortable.

10. Giraffe

Lastly, the giraffe is the most unusual pet people keep. You may have gone to the park and seen how tall giraffes are. Now, how can someone keep it as a pet? According to Ellwood City Ledger, a man named Adam accommodates a giraffe in his house as a pet. He even decided to renovate his house to accommodate the 9 feet giraffe. Although giraffes seem gentle, they are still wild and may hurt you.

Additionally, giraffes have specialized dietary needs. They require many leaves and vegetation, which is difficult to provide outside their natural habitat. Also, they need adequate space to move around; unless you have large tracts of land, keeping it as a pet is a bad choice. Also, giraffes thrive well in African temperatures. Keeping it in a new environment might pose a health risk to it. If you are still determined to have a giraffe pet, contact an equipment hauling service to move it to your preferred destination.

There are more exotic pets that people have kept, but the article has focused on these 10. While keeping these exotic pets might bring in a whole level of excitement, it’s better to be aware of the challenges they pose. More importantly, ensure you meet legal requirements. Now, which of the unusual pets do you fancy the most?


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