Top 20 A-List Celebs Who Kept Wild Animals As Pets

When regular people think about getting a pet, the first animals that come to mind may be dogs, cats, maybe a bunny? All the different things to consider before getting a new animal may seem overwhelming, but imagine when that pet is a lion or a kangaroo! These famous celebrities were brave enough to get an exotic animal as a pet, make sure you don’t miss #13, #7 and 2!

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#20. Kirstie Alley

Actress Kirstie Alley’s choice to own lemurs was a conscious one. She only got them because she knew the climate in her current residence in L.A. could accommodate them. The problem is that they can’t stand too low temperatures.

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The best part is that she’s always warned people against irresponsible pet ownership. She explains how it’s important to take every step to keep our furry friends happy. In 2016 she told PeopleI actually have a full-time animal caretaker. It’s just on my payroll.

#19. Justin Bieber

Pop singer Justin Bieber got a capuchin monkey called OG Mally, back in 2013. The animal was a gift from a family friend and Bieber took it with him on tour, despite multiple warnings from people in his crew.

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The story goes that when Bieber went to Germany, he took the monkey with him. But sadly, the authorities confiscated him because Bieber didn’t have the required papers to travel with him. Now, Mally lives in a zoo.

#18. Audrey Hepburn

When the iconic actress worked on the film Green Mansions, she had to work with a baby deer and ended up falling for him. She kept the animal after the filming was done, and called him Pippin or “Ip” for short.

Photo: Courtesy of Ethical Girl London

The animal was very attached to her too. But do you know what the best part was? He slept in a special bathtub at her home and he would happily walk with Hepburn through the LA streets. As you can see, they even went to do the groceries together!

#17. Vanilla Ice

Would you believe me if I told you rapper Vanilla Ice once owned a pet kangaroo? What about a goat? Well, it’s true! He had a permit to keep them, but it expired before both of them escaped his Florida home in 2004.

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Somehow he avoided jail time and luckily the animals were recaptured. Now, the weird thing is that when the kangaroo passed away, he had it stuffed, and now displays it in his house. I swear we’re not making this up!

#16. Hugh Hefner

The Playboy Mansion did have it all, but did you know Hugh Hefner kept an actual zoo at his famous home? The zoo was licensed and legal, of course. It included exotic birds (cranes, peacocks, parrots, and flamingos), and about 100 squirrel monkeys.

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When Hefner passed away in 2017, the animals got to stay at the Mansion. Lucky for them, the Playboy founder and millionaire had everything planned beforehand. So we needn’t worry about these cute little creatures, they’re in safe hands!

#15. Charlie Sheen

If you believe everything the media says about him, you probably wouldn’t trust him with an exotic animal. So this story is no shock to anyone, but the actor did keep a Chinese water dragon once. I didn’t even know this animal existed!

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The dragon, called Hopper Jr., passed away after a short time with Sheen, after drowning in the pool. Allegedly, his health was poor because he didn’t receive the attention he needed. Poor thing!

#14. Steve Tyler

According to rock star Steve Tyler, raccoons are awesome pets to have. It seems that trash pandas have won his heart, ever since he got his buddy Bandit. Although they may be illegal to have as pets in some states, they can be very docile and friendly when properly cared for.

Photo: Courtesy of Parade

I got myself a pet raccoon. I put him on my shoulder and went fishing with it every day,” he told David Letterman in 2011. Do you know what the bad part is? There are hardly any pictures of them together!

#13. Mike Tyson

Boxing legend Mike Tyson once kept three magnificent white Bengal tigers and was lucky enough to tell the tale. He did have animal trainers at his disposal, which didn’t prevent him from getting injured once. That’s what you get for letting them sleep in your bed!

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Still, he’s extremely lucky to not have been mauled, if you ask me. He later sold the animals when the financial demands got too high… as you can imagine, each tiger cost him thousands of bucks each month!

#12. Mike Tyson… Again!

Everyone’s heard the story of Tyson’s first punch ever, right? Allegedly, he had to punch a bully who was trying to kill a pigeon. It seems this gentle giant loves them pigeons, as he keeps 70 of these birds and can even tell the difference between each one!

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Now, I wonder: how did he even manage to come up with 70 different names and remember them? So he started off with a couple of wild tigers and ended up with a bunch of these harmless messenger birds. I didn’t see that plot twist coming!

#11. Paris Hilton

A kinkajou is a small rainforest creature that practically nobody knows exists. Why would anyone want one as a pet, one may wonder? I guess that when you’re rich, you can have whatever pet you can imagine.

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Pop icon Paris Hilton got a kinkajou and named it “Baby Luv.” Ironically, there wasn’t much love between them, since Baby Luv bit Paris in 2006 (ouch!). She had to get a tetanus jab and the press blew it up for a few days.

#10. Elvis Presley

The King had a very interesting life, there’s no doubt about that. According to one of the many tales people close to him can recall, it seems he once had a kangaroo as a pet. It is believed that the animal was a gift from his agent in 1957.

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The pair briefly lived together before the artist decided that an exotic pet was not his style. Eventually, he sent it to the zoo in Memphis. That’s the problem with taking in an exotic animal, sometimes people are not fully aware of exactly how much effort it takes!

#9. Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage‘s reputation for being an eccentric guy didn’t come out of anywhere. He’s had some interestingly weird purchases in the past. He once owned a tomb, an island, the first Superman comic, and some exotic pets as well.

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These pets, in particular, included a $150,000 octopus and not one, but two king cobras called Sheba and Moby. Cage claims he studied them and managed to become a better actor thanks to them. I guess his snakes were a symbol of his individuality and his belief in personal freedom, maybe?

#8. Tyga

It turns out this controversial hip-hop artist once kept a young pet tiger… illegally, of course. For a brief time, the tiger stayed at the artist´s backyard, and he’s lucky he went unharmed!

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Tyga ended up surrendering it after an anonymous tip got the authorities knocking on his door. Animal control moved the tiger to a non-profit rescue facility. It’s rumored that he hasn’t paid for its upkeep.

#7. George Foreman

Boxer George Foreman was the owner of a lion and a tiger. I guess the 70s were a crazy time for him. But eventually, he realized it was a mistake. A particular incident was what brought him to his senses.

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Turns out the lion attacked his brother. He told ESPN in 2013 that he threw the best punch he ever threw at the lion.

I loved that lion, but when I saw him coming and saw his teeth, and only then I realized I shouldn’t have had the lion“, he told ESPN.

#6. Terrence Cody

The tale of Cody´s alligator is a sad one. This former Baltimore Raven had a run in with the law in 2015. The tragic story is that Taz, his bull mastiff, had passed away because the former American football player was neglecting his pet. But that’s not the worst part.

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When police searched the house, they found an illegal alligator. The poor animal was starving! The thing is that if you wanna have an alligator and keep him healthy, not only do you need a pond but also buy him dozens of kilograms of food each day.

#5. Salvador Dali

This late artist’s life was as surreal as his painting. So no one can be surprised when finding out he owned an ocelot named Babou. I’m pretty sure some of you don’t even know what an ocelot is! Dali walked around with Babou on a leash and collar, as if he were an ordinary cat.

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Sadly, an ocelot might not enjoy being kept as a pet. And as actor Carlos Lozano wrote in his memoirs, “I only saw the ocelot smile once, the day it escaped and sent the guests at the Meurice scurrying like rats for cover.”

#4. The Kardashians

This story started with a controversial blog post. The family acquired a three-year-old monkey called Suzy. But the timing wasn’t right, as they soon would find out. It just so happens that a woman had recently been attacked by a chimp in Los Angeles.

Photo: Courtesy of People

After the media outrage, the reality TV star deleted the post and claimed that the chimp was actually rented. I guess we’ll never find out the truth behind all this. Do you think the little fella is still roaming around her mansion?

#3. Leonardo DiCaprio

As a wildlife activist, the actor is very conscious about his pets. So when he decided to get a Sulcata tortoise everyone was sure he’d know how to look after it well. He got it for $400 from the North American Reptile Breeders Conference & Trade Show in 2010.

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The best part of having a pet tortoise is that you won’t have to worry about saying goodbye any time soon. Sulcata tortoises have a very long lifespan, so it’ll probably just outlive Leo… and maybe even his children!

#2. Tippi Hedren

This actress had somewhat of a dangerous pet. But I guess after staring in The Bird, a parrot of some kind was out of the question… So she decided to adopt a pet lion called Neil. And after that, six more lion cubs and a trainer joined the bunch.

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But things started going wild, as the actress’ daughter once admitted. She later became an actress herself and when asked about this she confessed to the Daily Mail that “We were stupid beyond belief. We should never have taken those risks.” You know what they say, it’s never too late to learn from your mistakes.

#1. Michael Jackson

Bubbles the chimpanzee was one of the most famous celebrity pets in the 90s. Michael Jackson and his animal companion were inseparable for many years. They traveled together for a while, but over time Bubbles became more aggressive.

Photo: Courtesy of Metro

Since he wasn’t so keen on traveling as he got older, Bubbles was moved from the Neverland Ranch so that he could live a happy life. In 2003 he went to the Center for Great Apes in Florida. And he lives there to this day!

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