Everyone has heard of people that own strange pets. Personally, I don’t see the appeal of having a tarantula or a hairless cat in your home, but hey, that’s just me. Certain animal lovers take their pet ownership to the extreme, however. Pot-bellied pigs and pythons are one thing, but bears and big cats are something else entirely. The following are five examples of people who just couldn’t settle for a dog.
Despite what you’ve seen in Coca-Cola commercials, polar bears are the largest and most dangerous bears on the planet. Even so, animal trainer Mark Dumas has cared for Agee the polar bear for roughly 25 years. The pair wrestle and swim together, meaning that Dumas may have the largest set of cajones on the planet.
Our next insane pet is Rambo the alligator, who is owned by Mary Thorn. This pair is about as Florida as it gets, with Mary posing Rambo on bikes and ATVs in leather jacket getups. Alligators have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom, and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine a future Christmas card with Mary flexing a brand new prosthetic hand as Rambo grins in satisfaction.
Seemingly less menacing than some of the other animals on this list, Aatu is a domesticated reindeer who likes to hang out in the living room and watching tv. Aatus’s owner, Pia Tuukkanen is a Finish local who has cared for the reindeer since finding him abandoned as a calf. This one’s actually pretty sweet, until Aatu accidentally gouges someone’s eye out while rounding the hallway corner.
When you’re rich, you want it all. At least that seems to be the case when it comes to Sheikh Humaid AlbuQaish, a billionaire living in the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh has both a lion and a tiger, and will often go hunting with the two and post photos of them to social media. If Tiger King taught me anything, it’s that owning big cats can easily lead down some dark, if not exotic, paths in life.
This one has me dumbfounded. Hippos kill more people than any other large animal in Africa every year, yet Tonie and Shirley Joubert from South Africa keep one in and around their home. Jessica the hippo was discovered as an abandoned baby in 2000, and the Joubert’s have been caring for her ever since. The story itself is heartfelt, but the broken furniture and excessive manure have surely been the cause of a few headaches over the last 20 years.