30 Rare and Exotic Pets That Will Make You the Talk of the Town
Pets are known to be great companions that help us to lift our mood. Most households include a pet whether a dog or a cat. Some people want to stand out in the crowd and want to be unique. There are people who own rare and exotic pets such as capybaras, alligators, skunks, and more.
Owning an exotic pet can be a huge responsibility since it requires more expertise, care, and precautions. Here is the list of rare and exotic pets.
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1. Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are one of the 12 species of New World porcupines. This species of animal's native habitat is in the South American forests of Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad, Guiana, and Bolivia.
These large rodents have short and thick quills that vary in color from yellowish to almost black. They are not aggressive by nature but won’t hesitate to defend themselves when attacked.
In states such as Utah and New York, it is legal to keep pet porcupines but is illegal in California. Porcupines as a pet is legal everywhere in Canada.
Capybaras are known to be the largest rodent in the world. The rodents' appearance features blunt snouts, short legs, small ears, and almost no tail.
Capybaras have calm and peaceful temperaments and are known to be friendly with other species. It is known that these rodents are illegal pets in California and Georgia but it is legal in Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Washington, and Florida.
Caecilians are limbless amphibians that look like a mix between a snake and an earthworm. They do not look exactly like amphibians but their teeth, bones, and other structures highlights that they are related to frogs and salamanders.
These rare species are hard to breed and take care of.
4. Snake-Necked Turtle
Snake-Necked Turtles have a long neck which is usually about half the length of its shell. The color of the shell varies through the shades of brown. Their long necks can bend and move in a serpentine style.
Snake-Necked turtles can be kept as a pet but caring for it can be tricky. They are known to be one of the most challenging turtle species to keep as pets.
Skunks appearance features small heads, short, pointed snouts, and small black eyes. The white stripes that run along their backs and extend to the tips of their tails are known for their distinctive feature.
Pet skunks are mainly kept in America, Canada, Italy, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. The animal can be purchased from a licensed animal shelter.
The legality of a Skunk as a pet can change differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Skunks are illegal in the US states such as Alabama, California, Colorado, and Michigan. States where skunks as pets are legal include Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin.
Kinkajous are called honey bears as they raid bees’ nests. Its appearance features a long body, rounded head and ears, a short muzzle, slightly webbed feet, and sharp claws.
Kinkajous are curious and active in nature. They do not adapt to new owners quickly.
Kikanjou are legal as pets in several states.
Axolotls are amphibians that are closely related to the tiger salamander. They have short legs, cylindrical bodies, long tails, blunt snouts, and large month and feathery external gills.
These amphibians cannot be interacted outside of the water. The water temperature must be maintained from 59 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15°C – 18°C). They are not social creatures but are gentle and peaceful,
Axolotls are legal in several states except for California, Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia.
Piranhas are predatory creatures that mainly feed on fish. They are known to be shy and non-aggressive unless they are hunting and protecting.
The piranhas' appearance features compressed bodies that are silver or golden in color with short adipose fins, jaws with a single row of sharp tricuspid sheering teeth, and no molars
It is legal to own' Piranhas in New Hampshire, Kansas, Indiana, Vermont, Nebraska, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
9. Hermit Crab
Hermit crabs have over 800 species worldwide. They are known to have a hard exoskeleton on the front part of their bodies but a soft tail on the other half. These crabs have curled tail with a hook that enables their bodies to fit inside borrowed shells.
Hermit crabs have curious, active, friendly, and quiet personalities. They are legal to own.
10. Boa Constrictor Snake
Boa Constrictor snakes live in tropical climates in most of Central and South America. This species of snake has a long and triangular head with dark streaks from the eyes to the back of the jaw.
The basic skin color of the Boa Constrictor snake is deep brown and black markings of triangle or oval shapes. These snakes are quite docile in nature but might hiss or bite if they feel threatened.
Full-grown Boas should be housed in cages no smaller than four feet long and two feet wide. The heat sources should be guarded to prevent thermal burns.
The laws regarding the ownership of exotic animals vary from state to state. In Florida, Boa Constrictor snake owners must have a permit to own the species as a pet while in Pennsylvania there are no specific laws regarding reptiles.
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11. Southern Tamandua
Southern Tamandua are the species of anteater that are found in savannas, forests, and tropical rainforests in South America. They have long snouts, long claws, striking fur, and a prehensile tail that helps them to climb trees.
Southern Tamanduas are known to be extremely clumsy, slow, and unable to gallop. They are not social animals and prefer to be the only pets.
In some US states, it is against the law to keep a Southern Tamandua without a license.
12. Garden Eel
The Garden Eels are part of the conger eel family and the majority of the garden eels are found in the Indo-Pacific.
These species live in the burrows of the sea floor. They poke their heads from the burrows while most of their bodies are hidden in the sand.
Garden Eels appearance features big eyes, sharp teeth, short nose, and long slim body with one fin. Their skin color can vary from yellow, green, orange, blue, and black combined with patterns such as banded or spotted.
Crocodiles are large-sized reptiles with four short legs, thick leathery skin with bony plate-shaped scales, long muscular tails, and long pointed heads with eyes and nostrils.
Crocodiles have both aggressive and patient personalities. These reptiles need specialized care and can be expensive to keep.
Binturongs are also called bearcats with low, long, stocky bodies covered with coarse, shaggy black fur, rounded ears, and white whiskers.
Binturongs can be great as pets due to their intelligent and friendly nature.
15. Crab-Eating Raccoon
Crab-eating raccoons are native to South America but they can also be found in the jungle areas of Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Crab-eating raccoons have pointed snouts, dense, yellowish fur with black tips, and long tails decorated with black rings.
These raccoons are omnivore species as they eat crabs, lobsters, crayfish, fish, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
It is illegal to keep or sell raccoons in T&T without state-issued permits.
16. Marbled Polecat
Marbled Polecats are widely found in grasslands and drier areas of southeastern Europe to western China. The polecats have short muzzles, noticeable large ears, short limbs, and long and strong claws.
Polecats are known to be less social and more solitary. It can be hard to be friends with the species in the beginning.
17. African Jungle Cat
African Jungle cats were treated as domestic cats by our ancestors about 10,000 years ago. These feline creatures have light sandy grey with reddish or yellow hue fur, long and narrow faces with white muzzles, and large pointed ears.
They are known to be slightly larger than domestic cats and often hybridized with regular breed cats.
18. New Guinea Singing Dog
New Guinea Singing Dogs found in the New Guinea Highlands are known to be barkless but have a yodel-like style of vocalizing. The singing dogs' appearance features narrow muzzles, goldish red or black-tan fur with white markings, petal-shaped ears, and wide cheekbones.
Kusimanses are a type of mongoose found in the forest areas of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Benin. These small dwarf mongooses have weasel-shaped bodies with dark or reddish-brown fur.
Kusimanses are social in nature and are easy to train. They are commonly available in the exotic pet trade.
20. Pom Pom Anemone Crab
Pom Pom Anemone Crabs are small crab species known to be found in the Hawaiian Islands. They are known to carry small living sea anemones around each claw. The little anemones look like a little cheerleader carrying two pom pom.
These species of crabs are found in pale yellow or brown colors. Pom Pom Crabs are considered to be safe with a bit of caution due to their anemones.
21. Whip Scorpion
Whip Scorpions resemble a cross between a spider and a scorpion but they do not belong to the scorpion family. These species of scorpions are known to release an irritating mist that has a vinegar-like odor when they detect any threats.
Whip Scorpions look intimidating but are known to be harmless to people and other pets.
Tenrecs resemble different kinds of species such as shrews, rats, opossums, mice, and hedgehogs. They have long whiskered snouts, sides, backs, and tails with dark brown to black dense and sharp white-tipped spikes.
These species are omnivores that eat insects and their larvae, eggs, spiders, and occasionally fruits.
Jerboas are long-tailed rodents found in the deserts and steppes of northern Africa, eastern Europe, and Asia. They have tiny mouse-like heads, disproportionately long ears, owlish eyes, and long tails.
They mainly feed on desert plants but cannot consume hard seeds.
24. Sugar Glider
Sugar Gliders are arboreal marsupials that live in the forests of New Guinea and Australia. They have thick, soft, and mink-like grey fur that covers the tail and body and black stripes run down the back.
Sugar Gliders are known to be similar to flying squirrels as they have gliding membranes.
Recently, these species have gained popularity as pets. They can bond closely with their owners if specific care and socialization are given.
25. Chanterelle Fennec
Chanterelle Fennecs are small fox species from the deserts of North Africa. Fennecs' appearance features tiny faces with large pointed ears and pointed snouts. They have long, soft, and thick coats from reddish cream to light fawn to almost white colors.
These species are occasionally kept as pets as they behave like playful and active small dogs.
26. Asian Palm Civet
Asian Palm Civets are from the South and Southeast Asia. They have long, stocky bodies with greyish-colored shaggy hair, pointed snouts, long furry tails, and black markings on muzzles, feet, and ears.
Civets require understanding and patience from owners. People who shared a home with these species have reported being happy.
27. Patagonian Mara
Patagonian Maras are long-legged rodents that look like a rabbit. These species have long ears, snouts, dark eyes, and greyish-brow fur with white patches.
Maras are known to be affectionate with their owners and don't mind being petted.
Patagonian Maras can be legally owned without a permit in states such as Alabama, Texas, Oregon, and Washington.
28. Four-Eyed Opossum
Four-eyed opossums are a species from Central and South America. They have sharply defined white spots above each eye, bicolored prehensile tails, grey dorsal fur, and cream-colored ventral fur, throat, and cheeks.
Four-eyed opossums are known to be the fiercest fighters of the opossums as they are aggressive and fight with potential predators.
29. Spotted Genet
Spotted Genets are found in woodland savanna, grassland, and dry vlei areas in Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and South Africa. The genets have dirty white colored fur with black spots forming lines from the head to the tail, black marks on the face, and retractile claws.
Genets are known to have distinct personalities and behavior quirks.
Agoutis are rodent species native to Middle America, northern and central South America. They resemble large guinea pigs with features such as short tails, sharp hoof-like claws, and long legs relative to their body size.
They are shy animals but can also be trusting while in captivity.