Hippos and Anteaters, Oh My!

Quick Facts

When most of us think of animals that make great pets, we generally think of common pets like cats, dogs, birds, rabbits and other small rodents and reptiles. However, some people prefer something a little more unusual and exotic as a pet. Ms Goodwin, a freelance writer and exotic animal expert from Oregon, USA has a rescued pet Tamandua anteater named Pua. Ms. Goodwin keeps her beloved anteater warm during Oregon’s cold winter by dressing her in warm jumpers and sweaters, and of course Pua is an indoor pet.

Anteaters are intelligent creatures that can be trained and bond with their human guardian much like a dog. However, anteaters do have their quirks and undesirable traits. Although anteaters can be trained to urinate on a pad or mat their urine has a strong unpleasant smell and they tend to dribble after they urinate. In addition, anteaters tend to be very messy eaters and require a specialized diet. An anteater might be an excellent pet for Ms. Goodwin, but its probably not the best bet for the average person.

If you think an anteater is a strange pet, how about a hippo instead? Shirley and Tonie Joubert of South Africa rescued a baby hippo almost eight years ago after a serious flood and the hippo, named Jessica, has happily stayed with her adoptive family ever since. A hippo is definitely not an easy pet to keep. Jessica has broken numerous beds and a couch over her eight years of life and is not house trained so can be very messy. She also eats a lot! Jessica eats 1/10 her body weight daily; she weigh several thousand pounds! Jessica is free to leave the Joubert home anytime she wants, but chooses to stay with her adoptive family instead; she not only loves her human family, but adores the English Bull Terriers that live with her.

Both Pua and Jessica are rescued animals that most likely would have died without the help of their adopted human families. Their tales are unique and special, just like the wonderful people who opened their hearts and homes to them. Anteaters and hippos, especially hippos, are normally not appropriate pets. Hippos are downright dangerous and could easily kill a person, and anteaters are illegal to own in many places and are much better off in the wild than in someone’s home. I think for the large majority of us, we are best to stick to the more common pets like dogs and cats. I think I’d rather share my bed with a Saint Bernard than a hippopotamus.


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Located in: Other Common Pets