Hoard All the Animals!

I’ve always had this thing for weird animals. I love my cat, and my dog, and the numerous pet hamsters and fish that preceded them, but there’s always been something especially attractive about have an exotic, one-of-a-kind critter to call my own.

Throughout my life I’ve kept detailed lists and plans of the country gentleman’s farm I plan to own, complete with the architecture of the barn, layout of the land and each and every animal that will fill the stalls (just ask my parents, they can vouch).

I guess I should put down a disclaimer saying yes, I realize some of these animals aren’t meant to and should never actually be kept in captivity (although many are). I’m hatching no elaborate plans to house a bengal tiger in my backyard, Boy Scouts’ promise. And so without further ado, this is the list of my Top 10 Dream Exotic Pets. 🙂

10. Chinchilla


I don’t really know if chinchillas can even really count as ‘exotic’ anymore, they’ve become so popular over the past few years. These little South American rabbit-mice things are pudgy little balls of cuteness and their cuddle-ability factor is seriously upped by those velvet coats (which I find infinitely more attractive when actually still attached to their bodies, thank-you-very-much).

9. Kangaroo Rat


Still in rodent territory, the kangaroo rat is, as one might guess, A, a rat and B, likes to hop around on their back legs in a manner akin to that of a kangaroo. If one look at those big black eyes doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will.

8. Hedgehog


Again, maybe a little too popular to be considered ‘exotic’, but these prickly little guys have my heart. And if they have yours too I definitely suggest watching this:

7. African Grey Parrot


Incredibly intelligent with an overall gentle disposition and trademark ability to mimic human speech; what’s not to like about the majestic-looking African Greys? Unfortunately, as is the case with many exotic animals, the African Grey trade is a shady business that has caused serious harm for the wild population. Nonetheless, their intelligence is terribly compelling, don’t you think? Plus the whole talking-parrot gimmick never gets old.

That’s not true at all. But I still want and African Grey.

6. Tortoise


I LOVE TORTOISES! I don’t know what it is, but something about that ancient, slow and steady nature is so incredibly endearing. And I think we can learn a lot from the tortoise’s stop-and-smell-the-roses lifestyle (although I guess any other sort of lifestyle isn’t really an option when you can only move at .17 miles per hour). I guess the big problem would be lining up a caretaker after your death; one of the few pets you can count on to outlive you.

5. Miniature Zebu


Um, duh, the sacred namesake of this blog had to make an appearance. I think the full-sized zebu is less of a pet and more livestock, but this portable variety can definitely make the cut. I would keep him in my house. We’d have a zebu-door. It’ll be great.

4.Patagonian Cavy


Another rodent (yeah, it’s a rodent! Science man, it’s cray!) that’s basically a rabbit and a kangaroo and maybe a deer all rolled into one. It manages to come off both cute and sassy at the same time and hails from Argentina. Why don’t we get wildlife like this in the states?

3. Wallaby


Oh my lord, this is my heart’s greatest desire. I have daydreams about the looks I’ll get on the street as I stroll along the sidewalk with my leashed wallaby. Just look at that face!

2. Serval/Genet





I put both of these in the same spot because they’re pretty similar and equally super-fierce (Tyra-fierce, not wild-animal-that-will-most-certainly-turn-on-you-and-tear-you-apart fierce). Okay, they’re really not similar at all. One’s a majestic house-cat-cheetah hybrid and one’s a precocious-looking ferret-like mongoose-cousin. But I love them both.


1. Fennec Fox


Does this picture really need words? Realistically, I don’t think anyone could ever get me on board with having a fennec fox as a pet; that doesn’t seem like a creature suited to captivity (although they are legitimately kept as household pets). But in my hypothetical dream list there are no rules, and I am in love with these desert canines.


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