For all those animal lovers out there, there’s no denying that one of the best feelings in the world is bringing home that new addition to the family. But what would happen if someone brought home a fifteen-foot python or a 500-pound lion? Would the everyday person buy a poisonous spider or a monkey? Probably not.
It’s not easy to draw the line on what makes a good pet. Sure, the usual cat and dog is a fine companion, but what happens if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous? Something a little more out of the ordinary?
Apparently, pet owners have differing opinions on what makes a good animal companion. There are a lot of people out there who bring pet ownership to the next level. These 15 famous people certainly do.While we may consider these choices of pets weird, these celebrities wouldn’t think so.
15. Reese Witherspoon – Donkeys
This Southern belle from New Orleans, Louisiana has left her mark in Hollywood. She is best known for her roles in Legally Blonde and Walk the Line, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress when she portrayed June Carter Cash.
Few may know Reese Witherspoon as the owner of two miniature donkeys, tastefully named Honky and Tonky, who live at her Los Angeles estate along with a few other barn-yard animals. The two miniature donkeys are said to be docile and sweet, and have even made friends with her pet horse.
14. Steven Tyler – Raccoon
Lead singer of the American rock group Aerosmith and also known as the “Demon of Screamin’” due to his impressive vocal range, Steven Tyler is surprisingly soft-spoken and down to earth.
Before his drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll lifestyle took its legendary course, this eccentric rocker had a pet raccoon. Though people see raccoons as pesky troublemakers, they are said to make great pets. They can be litterbox-trained and supposedly share personality traits similar to a dog.
“I got myself a pet raccoon. I put him on my shoulder and went fishing with it every day,” Tyler said in an interview on the David Letterman show.
13. Slash – Snakes
World famous guitarist and former member of American rock band Guns N’ Roses, Slash has no fear when it comes to reptiles. Before the birth of his first son London Emilio Slash, he was the proud owner of over 80 snakes, many of which can be seen in his music videos slung over his neck while he plays guitar.
But he’s not just another guy with a lot of pet snakes; he does have extensive knowledge concerning these scaly serpents and has even been on the cover of reptile magazines, top hat and all. His love for animals extends much further than fans may know: in 2011, he received the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award for his involvement in wildlife and environment protection.
12. Leonardo DiCaprio – Tortoise
Arguably one of the best actors to have never won an Academy Award (it’s a long time past due), Leonardo DiCaprio has proven his acting chops time and time again and still he has no award to show for it. It’s a shame, really, but his larger than life tortoise is sure to make him feel better.
The phenomenal actor purchased his giant-shelled friend after attending the North American Reptile Breeders Conference and Trade Show in 2010. He was reportedly asking for the largest tortoise available, which turned out to be a 38-pound Sulcata tortoise, who was only 10 years of age. His pet will supposedly end up being over 200 ponds once fully grown.
11. Audrey Hepburn – Deer
Film legend and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn stumbled into an unlikely friendship during the shooting of the film Green Mansions, in which Audrey played a young girl living in the Venezuelan jungle. Her character in the film had a rather strong connection with nature, and had a fawn follow her around everywhere she went.
Little did she know this baby deer would soon become best friend. The animal trainer on set suggested that Audrey take the fawn home with her to get better acquainted. Soon after the two were inseparable on and off set. Audrey was even spotted doing her groceries with the fawn which she later nicknamed Ip.
10. Kristen Stewart – Wolf-Dog
Kristen Stewart starred in the wildly successful vampire saga Twilight, falling for the pale Robert Pattinson on screen and off. But some may wonder if her true feelings lay with Taylor Lautner, who played a wolf in the film series, due to her mother’s raising of wolf-dog hybrids.
Stewart has been heard defending the beautiful animals many times, relating to issues concerning hunters and the excuses they use to shoot down her beloved pets. She holds a strong love towards her furry friends, which is well-received among all dog-lovers out there – and rightfully should be.
9. Hugh Hefner – Playboy Mansion Zoo
Playboy founder and self-made millionaire Hugh Hefner may have a house full of bunnies, but what you may not know is he also has a full-fledged zoo! The Playboy Mansion is one of the few private homes with a zoo license, housing a very long list of animals including spider monkeys, tamarins, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, countless birds, and many other animals.
Hugh is also a strong advocate of animal rescue: he is involved in many fundraising events involving wildlife conservation, and has even has a subspecies of marsh rabbits named after him.
8. Paris Hilton – Kinkajou
Great-granddaughter to Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels, Paris Hilton took a much different career path. Starting out as a model, she quickly became a TV personality with the help of some “assets”.
Being so involved in the media, it’s no surprise that she’s an animal lover and owns many different pets, but they might not all love her back. Her exotic pet kinkajou reportedly sunk its tiny teeth into her arm resulting in a brief hospital visit. However, this incident didn’t result in a lost friendship, as Hilton’s love for exotic animals still stands.
7. Charlie Sheen – Chinese Water Dragon
American actor and media hot head Charlie Sheen may be the owner of one of the most exotic pets on this list, but he’s also the worst pet owner mentioned. His Chinese water dragon “Hopper Jr” was more of an impulse buy than anything else.
This poor water runner died due to the actor’s neglect – a sad end for any pet. Sheen may have bought the pet for bragging rights or a quick attention grabber, but what people should be more concerned with is this actor’s carelessness as a pet owner.
6. Tippi Hedren – Lion
American actress, model, and animal rights activist Tippi Hedren shocked and terrified many in the 70s with her so-called family pet, a fully grown male lion. This king of the jungle lived amongst her family home, just as a pet dog would.
The lion, named “Neil”, played with them by the pool, hung out in the living room, and even slept with them in their beds. Later in life, Tippi admitted to the stupidity of such things, deeply regretting her risky decisions. Everything aside, it’s still one of the most surreal pet relationships ever had.
5. Vanilla Ice – Kangaroo
Known for the hip hop hit “Ice Ice Baby” (clearly a ripoff of Queens “Under Pressure”) this rapper owned a wallaby kangaroo named “Bucky Buckaroo.” What’s even more interesting is the unlikely friendship that formed between Ice’s kangaroo and pet goat “Pancho”.
The two animal friends even managed to escape from Ice’s house together which led to a two week-long search. Thankfully they were both found unharmed and safe.
4. Nicole Kidman – Alpaca
Award winning actress Nicole Kidman may be the last person you would expect to show up on this list, but her Nashville farm is home to some South American Alpacas.
The long-lashed, long-necked mammals are apparently just a stepping stone for her interest in exotic animals; she eventually hopes to get some snakes as well. With full support from husband Keith Urban, you never know what this ambitious Aussie is going to do next.
3. Salvador Dali – Anteaters
This famous surrealist painter known for his visually striking and imaginative art style didn’t just shock people with his work. Salvador Dali had quite the reputation for being an unusual individual himself: let’s just say he wasn’t shy and had a larger than life personality.
Instead of taking a dog for a walk, Dali preferred taking his pet anteaters out for a stroll. He was said to be rather fond of the long nosed creatures, perfectly fitting his bizarre yet charming style.
2. Michael Jackson – Chimpanzee
Probably the most pampered animal on this list, Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee “Bubbles” got a taste of the high life after being rescued from a research facility. Known for traveling with MJ on numerous occasions, this monkey also had his own crib, used the singer’s toilet, and even got to drink tea with the mayor of Osaka.
The two friends did everything together; MJ probably even taught the chimp how to moonwalk. Sadly, as Bubbles matured, Michael had to part ways with his animal companion, sending him to the Center for Great Apes, an animal sanctuary in Florida.
1. Mike Tyson – Bengal Tiger
Much like Mike Tyson‘s role in the hit comedy The Hangover, the former heavyweight champion actually owned 3 Bengal tigers. These giant cats are no laughing matter, especially when it comes to living cost. Each tiger cost him over $4000 a month and an extra $125,000 a year for a personal animal trainer.
This animal lover seems to be fearless in and out of the ring, as he has been seen playing with the 500-pound creatures as if they were dogs.