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Unusual Pets: Real Stories of Exotic Pets

Pets have always been an integral part of human history. Cats and dogs are undoubtedly the most common and beloved companions found in countless homes worldwide. However, every now and then, we stumble upon extraordinary tales of individuals who share their lives with truly unconventional pets. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of exotic pet ownership, exploring heartwarming stories of humans and their most unusual animal friends.

From weird and adorable pets to the challenges and joys faced by their dedicated owners, we unravel the unique bond between these fully domesticated yet exotic creatures. Join us on this remarkable journey as we discover the most unsual, great, and cute pets that have captured the hearts of their pet owners. Learn about the special care, exotic pet laws, and the fascinating experiences that come with these incredible and sometimes scared, yet truly captivating beings.

Let’s embark on this adventure and celebrate the extraordinary connection between humans and their beloved pets, be it dogs, cats, or any other unique animal that has found its way into our lives. Enjoy reading and let the magic of these exotic companions inspire you!

Chito and his crocodile Pocho

Gilberto Shedden, known as Chito, is a Costa Rican fisherman from the city of Siquirres, in Limón, Costa Rica. One day in 1989, while Chito was walking along the banks of the Tempisque River, he saw a motionless and dying crocodile. The crocodile had a bullet wound in its left eye and was very thin. Chito decided to take him home and took care of the animal with food, water, medicine, and lots of affection and attention. For six months, the fisherman and tour guide’s daily routine included caring for one of humanity’s most feared animals.

During the time he was under “medical” care, the crocodile was kept protected in a fenced lagoon, on the outskirts of Chito’s house. Every day, without exception, the animal received a visit, care, and affection from the fisherman who started calling the ‘little animal’ Pocho, which, in the local dialect, means “strong”.

Pocho slowly recovered and, after being completely healthy, he was returned to his natural habitat. However, unusually, the next day, Pocho returned to the place where he received so much affection. Then, began a friendship that amazed the entire world. Chito managed to make Pocho’s adoption official, obtaining a wildlife license from the competent authorities in the region.

For more than 20 years, this unusual partnership surprised everyone and the affection and interaction between Chito and Pocho only increased. Chito even started making presentations to the public and with the money raised he bought a piece of forest where countless native animals are protected from hunters. However, unfortunately, in 2011, Pocho did not go to meet his friend and, later, Chito found him dead in the lake where he lived.

Pocho died of natural causes, at around 60 years of age, twenty of those years spent receiving love and affection from the man who saved his life.

In one of the excerpts from the video below, Chito says that it took him around 3 years to develop a kind of communication with

Pocho. His story is an exceptional example of how patience and love can reveal bonds and friendships that we would never have imagined. Pocho makes us realize the incredible ability that exotic and wild animals have to connect with humans and how our compassion can positively impact their lives.

Jessica, the female hippo

In 2000, in the Limpopo Province, South Africa, the South African couple Tonie and Shirley Joubert found a baby hippopotamus on the banks of the Olifants River, during a flood. The calf was a female and was only a few days old, its mother had been carried away by the waters.

The baby hippo was seriously weakened and alone, so the couple decided to take her to their home, where they began to care for her with love and care. Tonie had worked as an environmental patrolman and knew exactly how to act in situations like this.


The property where the couple lives is next to a river branch and, as we know, hippos are semi-aquatic animals, spending most of their time in the water. Therefore, Jessica, the “hippo”, is in a perfect environment for her. After her walks and bathing in the waters with other members of her species, she returns home, usually when she is hungry. Once there, she gets iced tea in improvised plastic bottles and can even enter the house and go to the kitchen to ask for a snack. She feels at home, as it was there that she grew up and learned to socialize and interact with the humans who rescued her.

Hippos, in nature, are extremely territorial animals and cause more deaths on the African continent than any other mammal, including lions. However, Jéssica became so attached to the family that saved her that she never showed any type of aggression.

exotic pets

The couple Tonie and Shirley Joubert took advantage of the beautiful story with Jéssica to raise public awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation. They created a sanctuary for hippos and other orphaned animals, and Jessica has her website, JessicaHippo.

Jessica’s story is a prime example of the incredible bond that can form between pet owners and their unusual pets. While many people opt for traditional pets like dogs or cats, some have chosen to share their lives with exotic animals.

These unique animals, with their adorable appearance and playful nature, can make great pets for those willing to provide the proper care and environment.

Unlike dogs or cats, exotic pets often have specific dietary requirements, and their owners must ensure they have a proper diet consisting of the right balance of nutrients. Additionally, exotic pets may require specialized enclosures to mimic their natural habitat and provide enough space for them to thrive.

One of the most unusual pets is the hippopotamus, like Jessica. Despite their reputation as dangerous, Jessica shows us that with the right companionship and respect for their needs, even exotic animals can become loving and loyal companions.


While exotic pets can be fascinating and bring joy to their owners, it’s important to remember that owning such animals may come with legal restrictions. Exotic pet laws vary from country to country and it’s crucial to understand and comply with these regulations to ensure the welfare of both the animals and the owners.

In conclusion, whether you choose a traditional pet or an exotic one, the bond between humans and pets is a special one. Pets provide companionship, love, and can even teach us valuable lessons about respect and conservation. So, if you’re considering adding a new member to your family, why not consider adopting an exotic pet and create a unique and fulfilling companionship.

exotic pets

Brutus the bear

This is another story of humans with rescued exotic pets and this began in 2002, in the Montana Mountains, in the United States, when Casey Anderson rescued an orphaned bear cub that was in danger and critical health conditions. Casey is an American naturalist, filmmaker, and television presenter and is known for his work with animals and wildlife documentaries. Immediately, Casey decided to take the baby bear home and take care of him.

From then on, a special connection began to emerge between the two, and an unusual friendship developed between him and the bear who came to be called Brutus. As the bear grew, cared for by Casey as if he were his child, they played and interacted in ways few people could have imagined possible.

Nat Geo Wild

Their story became a series on the Nat Geo Wild channel and made the duo famous. Viewers could follow the adventures and the incredible respect and affection that existed between them. Casey has leveraged his fame to raise public awareness about wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting places that serve as animal habitats.

Birthday Party

Their friendship is so strong that Brutus has his birthday party every year and was the best man at Casey’s wedding. Have you ever thought about a party with such a special guest? Incredible, isn’t it?

The strong bond between Casey and Brutus is a reminder that animals, even exotic and wild animals, are feeling beings who deserve our understanding and respect.

exotic pets


For more than 20 years, Australian Trish Wimberley has been caring for baby bats rescued in the coastal city of Gold Coast, in the Australian state of Queensland. Every year, between September and February, the time when mother bats give birth, Trish has up to 200 bats to care for in her home. There was a year when she had 500 babies to take care of.

Center Care

Trish set up a rehabilitation clinic in the back of her house for little bats that were separated from their mothers for some reason, usually fatal accidents. She has a team that rescues whenever a call comes in, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She is always alert, and as she says, bats are her priority.

They usually arrive at the center with injuries, broken limbs, kidney disease, or pneumonia. There, they are cared for like babies, remaining in incubators for a few weeks and fed with bottles, just like human babies.

Return to the Natural Habitat

After a year of intense care and affection, contact with humans is drastically reduced to encourage the little bats to become independent and be able to return to their natural habitat. Even after being released, for some time, they still return to the clinic to feed, until finally, they no longer return.

However, with one of these babies, this did not happen. Trish says that she has been with a “patient” for 14 years and that she has become the clinic’s exotic pet. See what she says: “We’ve had her for 14 years. She is very interactive with her keepers, like a puppy. This is not something rare in a bat, they can be tamed and return the affection they receive. Unlike other animals, they immediately know if you are helping them or if you are a predator. They are very intelligent creatures. Anyone who doesn’t like bats doesn’t know enough about them.”

Trish’s tireless dedication is an inspiring example and teaches us that it is possible to make a difference in wildlife conservation.


These tales of weird and exotic pets transport us to a realm where friendship and love know no boundaries. It’s incredible how humans can form bonds with the most unusual companions in a respectful and caring way. These extraordinary connections allow us to view nature from a fresh perspective, highlighting the interconnectivity of all living beings.

We hope you found these stories about cute, smart, and playful pets inspiring and that they encourage you to consider adopting an exotic reptile, fish, or even a nocturnal companion. Let’s share the idea of creating lifelong friendships with these great pets and becoming devoted advocates for their well-being.