We’re incredibly fortunate to live in a wonderful world full of so many different species of rare and exotic animals some of which have found their way into some very famous homes.
Animals that get the Presidential seal of approval
Pets have always been popular in the White House and whilst we may all be used to seeing dogs in particular running around the famous lawns of Pennsylvania Avenue there are stories of previous President’s keeping animals that are considerably wilder than our canine companions. John Adams is rumoured to have kept an alligator in a bathroom and Martin Van Buren briefly owned two tiger cubs which were reluctantly donated to the zoo after complaints from congress. President Calvin Coolidge tops the bill however, as the most enthusiastic presidential pet owner with raccoons a bobcat and even a pygmy hippopotamus called Billy.
Dali’s dangerous dining companion
The surrealist painter was renowned for his eccentric behaviour and his choice of pet certainly did not disappoint. He was the owner of an ocelot called Babou who at first glance looked not too dissimilar to that of a domestic cat but from closer inspection was a little fiercer. Dali once took Babou to a top Manhattan restaurant and after a fellow diner complained that the cat looked rather dangerous he then told her that it was actually a domestic cat that had been painted by him to resemble an ocelot.
A lifetime bond
If ever you wanted a heart-warming story involving man and wild animals then this one takes some beating. In 1969 John Rendall and Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke came across a young lion cub that was for sale in the famous London department store of Harrods. They bought him and took him back to live with them in their basement flat and incredibly travelled around the country with him in the back of their car. Having developed a bond with the rapidly growing cub they realised that they had to find a more suitable home for him so that he could get the life he deserved.
They were put in touch with lion conservationist George Adamson and the lion was eventually sent to Kenya to begin the process of reintroducing the lion they called Christian back into the wild. A year later after Christian had been successfully released into the wild Rendell and Bourke were re-united with their former cub and much loved pet. There is a YouTube video of their reunion which is an amazing example and confirmation that man and beast can sometimes form a bond that can last a lifetime.
This collection of unusual pet stories was brought to you by York Vet Supplies. A provider of animal health care advice and veterinary supplies.