There was a time when a rat was considered an exotic pet. There was a time when pets were only “dogs and cats”. In 2019, it seems like everything is a pet. I decided to scour the internet to see what classifies as an exotic pet these days – and there were certainly some surprising animals on the list.
First on our list is the Ball Python. This snake is actually illegal to own in Florida, Hawaii, New York, and some cities in California. This species of snake is not poisonous but constricts its prey instead. These snakes are no small commitment, and live and can live up to 30 YEARS! Imagine having a pet for that long.
Up next on our list is the Chinchilla. These small rat/mouse-like rodents tend to be very destructive if left unattended and require a lot of attention and engagement. They are legal to own in most states as long as they are not captured from the wild it would seem. Chinchillas seem like pets better suited for pet owners who like the idea of owning an exotic animal for the sake of owning it – as these creatures do not like to be cuddled and are not very big proponents of physical contact.
The next entry on our list was one that caught me by surprise – the Hyacinth Macaw. They are essentially blue and yellow parrots. One might ask why these are considered exotic – well upon further research apparently these creatures are very endangered with only 2500-5000 left in the wild. To own one costs upwards of $10,000!
While parrots are creatures sold everywhere, a parrot of this particular species is incredibly rare. Unless hand-reared and trained from an early age, these birds can tend to be dangerous. They can grow to be as tall as 40 inches with a wingspan of 60 inches.
I was surprised to see Chimpanzee’s on the list. These creatures can live up to 50 years and are actually illegal in most states. I think most of us know from watching National Geographic and other nature channels that these creatures are incredibly complex and social animals.
At the end of the day, the most bizarre pet on the list (in my opinion), happens to be the Capybara. These interesting creatures and weigh up to 140 pounds, and are actually semi-aquatic meaning that they absolutely would need access to a water source they can swim in. They are also incredibly social animals so you can’t just get one. So we have a creature that requires a swimming pool (more or less) and friends of its own species… this leaves me wondering what the purpose of the human would be lol.
The legality of owning this pet varies depending on state, so if you are interested be sure to refer to your local state laws.