The cuddliest and most bizarre animals that you can call your own. From the pint-sized sugar glider to the spiny hedgehog there are some unusual exotic pets that animal lovers can make a part of their family
10. Kinkajou- If you’re like most, you’ve never heard of this animal. Though more closely related to racoons, adult kinkajous (sometimes referred to as honeybears) look like a cross between a monkey and an (albeit tiny) bear, with dense, wooly fur. Adults can weigh anywhere from three to ten pounds and tend to be solitary creatures who take well to bird toys. They are nocturnal, so most owners typically keep them penned up at night when they’re most active. If you’re willing to go through the agita of having to build an outdoor enclosure a Kinkajou might be the right fit for you, particularly if you prefer mild mannered pets to high-octane puppies or territorial kittens. Mostly, they’re fruitarians, though some are known to develop strawberry allergies and most all do best when kept away from citrus of any sort. Kinkajous are traditionally tree dwellers and possess the rare ability to rotate their hind ankles, which enables them to run quickly both forward and backward. Though their piercing cries, screeches and occasional barks have earned them the nickname la llorona in the rainforests of South America, they’re known to be pretty docile, if messy, housepets.
9. Sugar gliders- Though these tiny creatures are commonly mistaken as rodents, they’re actually marsupials, loosely related to the kangaroo and koala bear. Unlike most rodents, they have an average lifespan similar to dogs in addition to a similar level of intelligence, which allows them to complete basic tricks and come when called. If fed the proper diet they won’t emit any odor-- unlike other rodents and ferrets, which I always thought smelled like urinal cakes, even on their best days. Adults are nocturnal and weigh roughly six ounces. Unlike kinkajous, sugar gliders are highly social creatures that tend to live in colonies. PETA has railed against keeping sugar gliders as housepets, as they tend to be bred in conditions similar to puppy mills and because of their size, are smuggled across countries in exceedingly inhumane ways which can include, being stuffed into extremely tiny containers. As their name implies, sugar gliders can glide between trees resting upwards of 150 feet away from each other. Think of them as bug-eyed, white bellied, furry little parachutes, sharp in tooth and claw.
8. Wallaby- Cousins to kangaroos, Wallabies are marsupial creatures which are best suited to owners who can provide ample space for them to jump, run and play in. Because of this, most yards aren’t suited to these animals’ needs. Would-be owners should take note that they’re notoriously difficult to housetrain, in addition to house in general, given their size, energy levels, strong hind legs and nocturnal hardwiring. They differ from kangaroos in that their teeth have flat rows, as opposed to curved rows and typically feed on leaves, which require less slicing than the grass that most kangaroos eat. Wallabies are typically two and a half feet tall and weigh roughly thirty pounds, though some breeds have been known to grow as large as fifty pounds and stand six feet tall. In different parts of the country, pet owners have noticed that their wallabies make a fine substitute for lawn mowers, given their insatiable appetite for grass. Rural areas are the best for these pets.