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Top 10 Exotic pets

People who like to think and do things out of the box prefer exotic pets instead of the regular pets. Exotic pets have become a roaring business where wild animals are sold in auctions and on the internet. Pet owners are willing to pay a hefty price for these priced possessions that often are prone to premature death due to malnutrition or sufferings in captivity. Despite government prohibiting certain endangered species being part of pet business, these regulations are not strictly enforced giving room to mishandling of animals. Many exotic pets like sugar gliders, honey bear, green iguanas, rosy boas, bearded dragons, spotted pythons, leopard geckos, flying squirrels are some of the animals that are sold as pets. Though some are endangered the law does not prevent them from being domesticated.

What are exotic pets?

Exotic pets are those animals that live in the wild and which are rarely kept as pets. These animals require special type of housing, diet and care that is out of reach of a normal pet lover. Animals in the pet trade have dramatically increased with people preferring more and more of exotic animals in their home. Exotic pets are purchased as infants. Possession of exotic animals is regulated by federal, state and local laws. This can vary from animal to animal

1. Squirrel Monkey

These primates are found in the forests of Central and South America and are from the subfamily Saimirinae. These

Squirrel Monkey

exotic creatures are nervous and cuddly beings that are 12.5 inches in length. Squirrel monkey is a diurnal animal. This comes with a long commitment as they live upto 25 years. The monkey is orange-green in color. A squirrel monkey can cost anywhere between $6000 and 7500 for a baby money. Though, adult monkeys are cheaper depending on their age and reproductive capacity. These exotic creatures eat fruits and vegetables. Their favorites remain grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, mixed nuts, cooked eggs, grilled chicken, cauliflower and juices with sugar. There are monkey treats also available that are loaded with Vitamin D3 content and other nutrients. Try peanut butter and jelly for a change. It is difficult to potty train a monkey and it takes a professional trainer to get a monkey to litter in the same place. Use a diaper if needed. The behavior of the monkey varies from time to time and some can get aggressive too. Remember just like any other pets, monkeys too need affection so a little patting doesn’t do any harm. Buy a sturdy cage and leave them while you are away. Providing them with the right entertainment and diet can keep the monkey happy and calm.

These exotic creatures eat fruits and vegetables. Their favorites remain grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, mixed nuts, cooked eggs, grilled chicken, cauliflower and juices with sugar. There are monkey treats also available that are loaded with Vitamin D3 content and other nutrients. Try peanut butter and jelly for a change. It is difficult to potty train a monkey and it takes a professional trainer to get a monkey to litter in the same place. Use a diaper if needed. The behavior of the monkey varies from time to time and some can get aggressive too. Remember just like any other pets, monkeys too need affection so a little patting doesn’t do any harm. Buy a sturdy cage and leave them while you are away. Providing them with the right entertainment and diet can keep the monkey happy and calm.

2. Etruscan pygmy shrew

 This is also called the white toothed pygmy shrew and is the smallest mammal that weighs just 1.8gms and has a body length of 1.6 inches. Though it is a tiny animal it is capable of eating twice its size. Its heart beats about 25 times per second. This is a small insectivorous mammal that has tiny eyes and large nose. It has a keen sense of smell. Their prey include earthworm, spiders and are found in most habitats. These are territorial animals and aggressive creatures. If you prefer to have them as pets do not be fooled by their small size. Just like any shrew they squeak at high pitch. They live only for a year and can litter around six little ones during their period of one of two litters during their lifetime.

3. Tamandua

Tamandua

Popularly known as lesser anteater these are much smaller than their giant relatives. They live both on ground and trees. It is a nocturnal creature that often nests during the day. It has an amazing sense of smell though very poor vision due to its very small eyes. Tamanduas can eat upto 9000 ants per day. Though they don’t have teeth the stomach grinds the food that is swallowed by these creatures.

4. Tarantula

Tarantulas are found around the world and have a lifespan of 10-25 years. There is a variety of sizes available that comes as small as a fingernail. These 8 legged creatures have 2 fangs that can be daunting. Don’t worry tarantula’s don’t bite. The most popular are the Chilean Rose Haired Tarantulas. These are large and are easy to maintain and hence form exotic pets. These can be bought for as less as $15.

5. Sugar Glider

Sugar Gliders

They fall into the family of Kangaroos and are little marsupials. They are commonly found in Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea and Papua. They live for 10-15 years and weight just 6 ounces. These come at a length of 7 inches. These sugar gliders love sweet food and are highly sociable animals. They love interaction and can make loving pets.

6. Serval

Though they look like one, these are not your typical home cats. Servals are from the Central and Southern African region and come with a life span of 19 years. They are two feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. These are fast running cats and make great hunters. No wonder they look so much like their wild cousin, the Cheetah. These cats can purr, growl, grunt and meow like their smaller relatives. These are wild predators yet have found a place indoors.

 

7. Hyacinth Macaw

These exotic pets are adored by pet lovers for their beautiful colors and rarity. They weight about 3-4 pounds and originated in South America. These are the largest Macaw living. The wingspan alone is about 4 feet. Their beaks are strong enough to break a cage. Hyacinth Macaw though endangered is traded for their beauty.

8.Chimpanzee

These are the most preferred exotic pets that are a close cousin of humans. It is a legal pet in the US despite their exotic nature. Chimpanzees come at a whopping price of $60,000. These intelligent creatures may strike without any rhyme or reason so be careful. They can live upto 60 years.

 

9. Hedgehog

These creepy creatures are adored for their cute spikes and tiny appearance. Hedgehogs live upto 3-8 years and weight 1.5 pounds. Their spines are about an inch long. These form great pets but shower them with care.  They are curious animals and are active at night. Though they have poor eye sight they depend on smell and hearing.

10. Emperor Scorpions

Shiny, black and with claws these exotic creatures can be kept as pets. These are native of West African rainforests. Emperor scorpion as the name goes is the largest scorpion in the world that can grow upto 8 inches in length. Their exteriors are tough and these are not venomous. So if they sting, don’t worry. They may look tough but are gentle creatures.

 

Kacey Smith
Kacey Smith
Kacey Smith is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who has been involved in animal rescue for more than twelve years. She’s currently back in school and working to attain a DVM degree. Kacey is passionate about using her skills and experience to help strengthen the relationship between owner and pet. She lives in Ohio with her husband and a small swarm of rescue dogs. She contributes regular content to A to Z Pet Care.

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