Ownership of Exotic Pets has long been an interest of many people throughout the world. The State Department estimates the worldwide annual black market for wildlife and wildlife animals generates around $10 billion annually. There are, however many exotic pets that are legal to purchase under the correct circumstances. Many are available whether you are rich or poor, however all will demand a significant amount of time and attention. Following are the Top Ten Exotic Pets To Own as determined by requests and actual purchases.

10. Madagascar hissing cockroaches

Native to Madagascar, these insects are larger than other members of the cockroach family and are unique because they bear live offspring, while other roaches lay eggs. They are usually chocolate brown with orange markings on their abdomens. The males can be spotted by their horns. Only the males are aggressive, and usually they’re the ones who hiss. In male-male fights, the winners hiss more than the losers, and female cockroaches prefer males with powerful hisses. Lifespan: 2-4 years

9. Scorpions

Members of the arachnid family, scorpions can be found across the world, but they are native to deserts. Though they are known for their poisonous--and painful--stings, the majority of scorpions have stings that are not fatal. Scorpions are extremely hardy creatures and supposedly can survive nuclear radiation. They are usually brown or black in color, and they can live for an entire year on just one meal. Lifespan: 6-8 years

8. Alligators

Alligators are native to the United States and China. Though they look slow, alligators are capable of short bursts of speed of up to 30 miles an hour. They have broader snouts than crocodiles, and if you are stupid enough to get close, you’ll notice that a crocodile shows its upper and lower teeth when it clamps its jaws, whereas an alligator has a less toothy grin--it displays only its top teeth--because the upper jaw is wider than the lower. Alligators are solitary, territorial animals. They are gray or black in color and are usually more mild-mannered than their aggressive crocodile cousins. Lifespan: 4-10 years

7. Tarantulas

Members of the spider family, tarantulas can be found across the world. They are hairy creatures and come in colors ranging from reddish brown to black. Tarantulas do not spin webs. Some species have eight eyes, giving them forward and rear vision. Their bites can be painful, but they are not usually dangerous to humans. When threatened, they can make hissing noises by rubbing their fangs together and releasing itch-causing hair. Lifespan: females can live up to 20 years; males much less

6. Wallaroos

Members of the marsupial family, wallaroos are stocky creatures, with shaggy fur and prominent snouts, between 35 and 40 inches long. Like all marsupials, wallaroos bear their young in a pouch. Their size is between that of a kangaroos and a wallaby. They are reddish or gray and native to Australia. Wallaroos are lively, curious creatures and need to be closely monitored or they will escape. Lifespan: 15-20 years

5. Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are primates native to central Africa. Researchers have found that these highly intelligent creatures have problem-solving skills second only to those in humans. Though they are generally docile creatures, there are instances in which chimps have attacked humans. They communicate through sounds, gestures and facial expressions. Like humans, they swagger, can scream and throw tantrums and spend hours grooming themselves. Unlike most humans, chimps are known to throw their feces at each other--and their unfortunate owners--in moments of anger. Lifespan: up to 50 years

4. Bearded Dragons

Moderate-sized lizards native to Australia, bearded dragons are quite tame. They don’t attempt to escape when touched by humans, and that makes them attractive as pets. Though they don’t usually attack, some species have mildly venomous bites. They get their names because males and females puff out their throat area to form a sort of beard when threatened or during mating. Lifespan: 4-10 years

3. Fennec Foxes

The smallest members of the fox family, fennec foxes are the only ones that can be domesticated. They have pointed faces and oversized ears. Their biggest “advantage” is they don’t smell as much as other foxes. Fennecs are playful creatures with high energy levels and need constant care if kept as pets. Their native habitat is North Africa’s deserts. Lifespan: 12-16 years

2. Burmese Pythons

Native to Southeast Asia, these non-venomous snakes are known mainly for the size they attain--between 15 and 20 feet. They have voracious appetites and are known to deplete populations of small animals, like rodents and rabbits, in the wild. Pythons come from tropical rainforests and usually need a fair amount of humidity. They are light-colored with brown leathery patches; albino Burmese pythons are white with yellow patterns. Lifespan: 20-35 years

1. Hybrid cats

Hybrid cats include crosses between lions and tigers, Asian leopard cats and domestic cats, often produced by artificial insemination. The males are usually infertile, but females can have offspring. Some animals are more prone to illness than their pedigreed parents. Breeders often hope hybrid cats will possess the looks of the wild animal and the domesticity of pet cats. But some breeders say the wild strain in such animals lasts till even the fifth generation. Lifespan: varies depending upon the breeds of their parents.


5 years 39 weeks ago, 4:00 PM


ilovemyminirexCoco's picture

Secretary of State
Join Date:
Jan 2009

Ok Most of thse pets are...are...Ok let me just say it WILD!!!!

5 years 30 weeks ago, 1:23 AM


save_puppymill_pups's picture

Join Date:
Mar 2009

I would never buy one of these wild animals. Animal s

animals have rights too ya know!!
5 years 8 weeks ago, 3:37 AM


bdavis's picture

Private First Class
Join Date:
Aug 2009

none of these animals should be kept as pets its wrong. they are WILD animals for a REASON!

4 years 46 weeks ago, 1:31 AM


ilovemytortoise's picture

Join Date:
Nov 2009

dogs and cats were wild at one point to, so you could just say they are wild animals for a reason bdavis because there going to be domesticated too.

4 years 16 weeks ago, 12:39 AM


Kat1234's picture

Join Date:
Jun 2010

It is absolutely NOTHING like a dog or a cat. Those animals have gone through many years of domestication and are nothing like their wild counterparts. Even wild animals that were raised from birth can easily turn on their owners.

Especially chimps. Those animals do much worse than throw feces at you. Look it up.

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