ross-merrill - August 22, 2016
The internet is obsessed with Bramble, the deer that acts like a dog. It was just two weeks old and injured when it was brought to a family-run animal sanctuary. Now grown up, the deer "enjoys raiding the pantry, greeting visitors at the gate, and sneaking into [its owner's] bed for the occasional nap," according to Mashable.
Bramble is the not the first or most wild animal to be adopted by humans. I've conducted some research and found some of most bizarre and interested exotic animals kept as pets.
Yes, that's tigers, plural. A Brazilian man adopted two mistreated cats from a circus...and then bred them, resulting in seven tigers at his homestead. The most docile, Tom, is allowed not just in the house but in the pool, where one of the adult daughters swims with him three times a week. Another daughter says the tigers' "natural instincts are dormant" after being raised by humans, but it may just be a matter of time before one -- or all seven -- of the world's greatest predators get annoyed at something at turn lethal.
You would think Jackie the alligator and her weirdo owner live in Florida, but this odd couple actually lives outside Pittsburgh. Jackie lives in a secure, escape-proof baby pool and gets to come out several times a week. She particularly likes scratches under her chin. Her owner says neighborhood kids bring Jackie frogs they've caught as snacks, so she's an educational pet. According to the story's reporter, the owner isn't breaking any laws and has received approval from various agencies. So the next time you're in Washington County, Pennsylvania, ask for Jackie.
An Iraqi farmer has created his own mini-pack of two Arabian wolves. They would visit his farm, looking for prey. Eventually they became comfortable with the man and he adopted them. He feeds them meat and lets them roam around his property. He hopes to breed them and create a real pack, which to me seems like the first step in becoming a super-villain.
Hollywood animal trainer Mark Dumas took a polar bear cub from its aging mother to use on a film. When the project was over, the mother was too old to care for the cub, so he adopted it. Named Agee (pronounced "Aggie"), the now fully grown bear purrs when Mark is close. She snuggles with him and licks his head. He even gets to swim with her. It's possible the wild animal only allows all this because Mark hand-reared her when she was so young, and she bonded with him.
Many experts warn of the dangers of keeping exotic animals in your home, so it's quite bizarre to hear the owner and director of Wild Things Zoofari -- in America! -- flat-out saying that kangaroos make great pets. She does say that Jack-Jack, a red kangaroo, can jump over a six-foot fence; otherwise, there's nothing stopping you. Apparently, kangaroos don't kick or box nearly as much as you see in movies, as long as the males are neutered and bottle-fed from birth. They're also herbivores, so maybe safer to have around than, say, seven tigers.
Call it a mountain lion, or a cougar, or a wildcat -- it's also a pet. Mario Infanti, who, finally, brings us a story from Florida, adopted Sasha as a kitten and was with her "24/7" during her first four months at his house. Now she's a 200-pound adult, but is as playful and friendly as any house cat. And she does, indeed, get to come inside the house. She even purrs and meows, and waits anxiously for Mario to come back from his business trips. So far, she hasn't ripped anyone's face off.
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