A exotic pet is a rare or unusual animal which is kept as a pet. It is kept in human households but is relatively unusual or usually thought of as a wild animal rather than as a pet.
"Exotic" often refers to a species which is not native (indigenous) to where the owner lives, or an animal that isnt typically kept as a pet (unlike cats or dogs). "Pet" is a companion animal living with people.
Some animals kept as exotic pets
A wide variety of animals have been kept as pets. Below is a list of some animals that are kept in captivity at home and are thought to be "exotic". Where examples are provided within a category, the examples are the animals that are relatively commonly kept as pets in captivity at home within that category (although mice and parakeets may not really be considered very "exotic").
- Arachnids (e.g., tarantulas, scorpions, and vinegaroons)
- Dolphins and porpoises
- Frogs and toads (e.g., African bullfrogs, Argentine horned frogs, and fire-bellied toads)
- Insects (e.g., crickets, stick insects, Hercules beetles, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and praying mantises)
- Lagomorphs (e.g. rabbits and hares)
- Lizards (e.g., bearded dragons, blue-tongued skinks, chameleons, day geckos, iguanas, monitor lizards, frilled dragon lizard, leopard geckos, and tegus)
- Marsupials (e.g., wallabies, wallaroos, koalas, wombats and possums such as sugar gliders)
- Myriapods (e.g., millipedes)
- Non-domesticated and hybrid canids (e.g., wolf-dog hybrids, fennec foxes, domesticated red foxes, and raccoon dogs)
- Non-domesticated and hybrid cats (e.g., Asian leopard cats, Bengal cats, caracals, chausies, savannah cats)
- Parrots (e.g., African grays, Amazon parrots, caiques, cockatiels, cockatoos, conures, eclectus parrots, lories, lorikeets, lovebirds, macaws, parakeets, and parrotlets)
- Primates (e.g. galagos (bush babies) and monkeys such as squirrel monkeys and capuchins as pictured above)
- Procyonids (e.g. raccoons, kinkajous and coatimundis)
- Raptors (e.g., falcons and hawks)
- Rodents (e.g., capybaras, chinchillas, fancy rats, gerbils, dormice, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, Patagonian cavies, and squirrels)
- Salamanders (e.g., axolotls and tiger salamanders)
- Sharks and other fishes
- Snakes (e.g., ball pythons, boa constrictors, king snakes, rat snakes)
- Tortoises and other turtles (e.g., Greek tortoises, Hermann's tortoises, Russian tortoises, painted turtles, and red-eared sliders)
Images for kids
Animal markets in impoverished, tropical countries often sell primates, such as these slow lorises, to both tourists and local people as pets, despite laws against the trade.