Whether they’re big or small, furry or aquatic, it is safe to say that we love our animals. Like most others, we coo and sigh at our social media when someone’s pet alpaca comes up and we probably all wished we had a pet tiger like Jasmine when watching Aladdin. Also, how good was the song A Whole New World? We digress.
Speaking of tigers as pets, prepare yourself for more cool pets because here’s a list of 6 animals that are allowed as pets in other countries.
How could you say no to that face? Foxes are more often than not, wild creatures that shouldn’t be kept as pets. However, there are certain strains of ‘tame foxes’ that have been bred in captivity for their fur and the like, thus losing their ability to survive in the wild. In other words, they cannot be released back into the wild because they’ve become somewhat domesticated.
In these cases, they make very unique pets like Juniper the fox in the U.S., who has gained a steady following for her happy and adorable nature. An affectionate fox, she has melted many hearts by cuddling with her owners and even the family dog! Despite her charms, perhaps it’s best we can’t keep foxes here since it must be noted that they aren’t easy pets to have and are still, at their core, wild animals. Guess we’ll never know what the fox says on this sunny island.
Salamanders and newts are great pets if you’re not into the furry kind. Since they carry salmonella in their digestive systems, they pose a health risk to humans if not properly handled and hence, are banned as pets in Singapore. As amphibians, they should be kept in a tank or enclosure that provides them with both wet and dry areas. Often coming in brilliant, eye-catching colours, these are wonderfully aesthetic pets that can be endlessly entertaining if that’s your thing. Find more vibrant salamanders, newts and other reptiles on this Polish zookeeper’s Instagram!
Intriguing Indian Star Tortoises
The Indian Star Tortoise is a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna or Flora (CITES) and therefore, Singapore does not support its trade. In Holland, however, there’s a very happy little family of Star Tortoises that have won hearts with their cute photos and zen expressions. Again, even in countries that allow these tortoises to be kept as pets, only those that have been bred in captivity and not caught in the wild are legal.
We’ve all scrolled through our social media feeds, wishing we could snuggle with a hedgehog as they do in Japan’s cafés. Hedgehogs were all the rage at some point in the past few years with the craze snowballing into hedgehog prints being everywhere. Is it any surprise when hedgehogs are so adorable? Popular hedgehog accounts like Darcy, a Japanese hedgehog’s, which features him and his friends, were so well managed that people fell in love with hedgehogs left, right and centre.
Although Darcy has since passed on, his owner still does immaculately styled photoshoots with other Japanese hedgehogs! Rather than run the risk of being fined $1000 for keeping a hedgehog illegally, you can try visiting a hedgehog café when you travel overseas.
Skillful Slow Lorises
With huge, doleful eyes, the Slow Loris has heart-melting looks that you simply can’t resist. Commonly sold as pets in Southeast Asia and traded worldwide, they went viral a couple of years back for raising their hands when tickled. What owners then didn’t know was that the raising of arms is a defence mechanism for the Slow Loris and that due to the sudden spike in demand, they were being caught to extinction.
Moreover, the Slow Loris is (surprise, surprise) too slow to avoid getting caught, so the best way to prevent them from dying out is to stop trying to keep them as pets. Not to mention the inhumane procedures their hunters subject them to such as removing their teeth and their venom glands so as to ensure they can’t harm owners. It’s best to appreciate these sweet looking furry friends from afar!
Some of us run screaming when we see a lizard in our houses, so imagine seeing a 2-metre iguana casually lounging about as your pet. As one of the creatures that pose a threat to Singapore’s ecosystem, they aren’t allowed as pets, but they are much loved by some for their incredible colours and fascinating features. While they take striking photos, like Kivi, a green iguana from Ukraine, these iguanas require careful handling and special care to thrive. They’re also a long commitment pet since their average lifespan is about 15 to 20 years!
As amazing as these exotic pets may be, their care is something that remains very specialised and the reasons we aren’t allowed to have them as pets are rather valid. Even the breeding and selling of these creatures hang the fate of their species in a delicate balance, so do consider more than the novelty of keeping them as pets!