Seven Famously Obscure Pets from Historical past

Letitia Denham

Animal companionship is nothing new to humankind. All through historical past, individuals have sought out furry (and not-so-furry) pals to spend their days with. Nevertheless, it wasn’t all the time simply cats and canines. Well-known pets all through historical past have ranged from the abnormal to the extraordinary, however all have unimaginable tales. Under, we’ll discuss seven of probably the most fascinating well-known pets in historical past. 

1)Thomas Jefferson’s Grizzly Bears

One of the ferocious pets on this checklist, US founding father Thomas Jefferson had two grizzly bear cubs as pets! Captain Zebulon Pike gifted them to the US president in 1807 after buying them within the southern a part of the Continental Divide. Whereas the cubs have been supposedly light at first, they shortly started to outgrow any enclosure Jefferson put them in. They might incessantly be seen wandering across the president’s garden, which gave him a poor popularity amongst political opponents.

As soon as Jefferson may now not deal with the 2 grizzlies, he donated them to his buddy Charles Willson Peale, an artist and museum proprietor in Philadelphia. Whereas he took them in with pleasure at first, the bears finally destroyed their enclosure and tried to assault Peale’s household, leading to them being put down. 

Seven Famously Obscure Pets from Historical past

The grizzly bears Jefferson had as his well-known pets led to extra working than dancing, 1912 drawing ( Public Area )

2)Josephine Bonaparte’s Pugnacious Pug

Though Josephine is commonly overshadowed by her husband Napoleon in historical past, Josephine was an attention-grabbing particular person in and of herself. Josephine was identified for a number of of her distinctive and well-known pets that usually dominated their house, together with Napoleon himself! Whereas she is usually most well-known for her pet orangutan, she additionally had a pug named Fortune. 

Whereas most pugs are docile, Fortune was extremely protecting over Josephine. Some information even state that Napoleon as soon as shared his dislike for the canine with a buddy, claiming that Fortune stayed of their mattress on the night time of their marriage ceremony. Josephine advised him that he may discover one other place to sleep if he wished, however that Fortune could be staying of their mattress. Napoleon additionally said that Fortune would incessantly assault him by biting him whereas having sexual relations with Josephine, however Josephine refused to budge on her stance concerning the pup. 

Josephine Bonaparte’s pug Fortune was able to defeat Napoleon in their shared bed (Public Domain)

Josephine Bonaparte’s pug Fortune was capable of defeat Napoleon of their shared mattress ( Public Area )

3)Tycho Brahe’s Drunken Moose

Tycho Brahe , an historical astronomer from the sixteenth century, had one of the vital attention-grabbing pets on this checklist. Brahe was the proud proprietor of a tame moose, which he usually handled like a canine. Supposedly, the moose would comply with him round as a devoted companion, superb those that obtained to satisfy the big creature. Nevertheless, there was one thing much more distinctive about Brahe’s moose: it liked to drink. 

Brahe would host events at which his moose was the principle type of leisure, ingesting beer in massive gulps till it grew to become totally drunk. His friends would snigger because it stumbled round, working into furnishings throughout the fortress. Sadly, the leisure was taken too far when the moose died after climbing the fortress stairs and falling down them in a drunken stupor. 

Tycho Brahe’s famous drunken pet moose was party entertainment. It would stumble around inebriated, until it eventually fell down some stairs and died. (Mia Bruksman / CC BY SA 3.0)

Tycho Brahe’s well-known drunken pet moose was occasion leisure. It will stumble round inebriated, till it will definitely fell down some stairs and died. (Mia Bruksman / CC BY SA 3.0 )

4)Marquis de Lafayette’s Alligator

Scales and sharp enamel didn’t cease the Marquis de Lafayette from conserving an alligator as a pet! This story has led to some confusion in passing, as some people consider the gator belonged to John Quincy Adams . Nevertheless, it isn’t solely clear if the alligator was totally gifted to him or if it merely stayed on the Adams’ residence whereas the marquis was visiting. Whereas there have been many myths in regards to the alligator, early information merely state that the gator was positioned within the East Wing of the White Home, however odds are it stayed there for some time earlier than the marquis departed. 

5)Andrew Jackson’s Foul-Mouthed African Gray Parrot

Andrew Jackson , the seventh president of the USA, had an African Gray parrot for over 17 years. The parrot, named Ballot, initially belonged to Jackson’s spouse Rachel Jackson. After she handed in 1828, Jackson grew to become the hen’s sole caretaker for 17 years till his loss of life. Though Jackson was supposedly soft-spoken in his older years, many who attended his funeral have been shocked to find fairly the other. Ballot had been dropped at the funeral and commenced squawking and cussing nonstop within the voice of his deceased proprietor. Ultimately, the cursing grew to become so incessant that Ballot was faraway from the service out of respect for the mourning friends. 

African Grey parrots are incredibly intelligent birds, with large vocabularies, up to 1,000 words. Unfortunately, Andrew Jackson’s famous pet parrot mostly knew curse words (H Zell / CC BY SA 3.0)

African Gray parrots are extremely clever birds, with massive vocabularies, as much as 1,000 phrases. Sadly, Andrew Jackson’s well-known pet parrot principally knew curse phrases (H Zell / CC BY SA 3.0 )

6)Audrey Hepburn’s Candy Pet Deer

A newer well-known pet in historical past was Audrey Hepburn’s deer. The fawn, later named Pippin, was given to her in 1959 on the set of her movie Inexperienced Mansions. The animal coach on set believed if Hepburn took the deer house together with her, it will be taught to comply with her extra naturally. Whereas that definitely did happen, their bond additionally flourished into one thing stronger, and Hepburn determined to maintain Pippin at her house all through the remainder of the taking pictures. Generally, they’d even sleep or buy groceries collectively. After the film concluded filming, it’s believed Pippin was given again to the animal coach to dwell out its grownup life at an animal sanctuary. 

Audrey Hepburn grocery shopping with her famous pet deer (Diane Person / CC BY NC SA 3.0)

Audrey Hepburn grocery purchasing together with her well-known pet deer (Diane Individual / CC BY NC SA 3.0 )

7)Salvador Dali’s Surreal Ocelot

Salvador Dali was well-known for going in opposition to the grain, however do you know he did this together with his pets too? One of the fascinating components of Dali’s private life was his ocelot, Babou. When you aren’t acquainted, ocelots are wild cats which are native to Central and South America. Whereas they bear some resemblance to domesticated cats, their fur sample is extra like that of a leopard. In response to the story, the Colombian head of state gifted the ocelot to Dali within the Sixties, and Babou hardly left Dali’s facet after that. He would incessantly take Babou with him to go on walks, dine in public eating places, and even attend particular occasions. 

The artist Salvador Dali and his famous pet ocelot (Public Domain)

The artist Salvador Dali and his well-known pet ocelot ( Public Area )

Select Your Pets Correctly

Clearly, individuals all through historical past weren’t strangers to distinctive and generally surprising pets. Though the destiny of a few of these animals is unsure, they positively present some attention-grabbing tales from the previous. When you take something away from this checklist, let or not it’s this: be grateful your neighbors don’t personal moose or alligators!

High picture: Whereas canines and cats have been frequent pets for hundreds of years, many different animals have been well-known pets to historic figures. This Ptolemaic mosaic from Hellenistic Egypt in Alexandria, dated between 200-150 BC, includes a beloved canine. Supply: Public Area

By Lex Leigh


Coren, S. March 8, 2018. The canines of Napoleon Bonaparte . Psychology At the moment. Obtainable at:   

Dorre, H. February 19, 2018. John Quincy Adams’s pet alligator was a crock . Plodding by means of the Presidents. Obtainable at:   

Grizzly bears . Monticello. (n.d.). Obtainable at:

Mancini, M. Could 9, 2013. Tycho Brahe: The astronomer with a drunken moose . Psychological Floss. Obtainable at:  

Meier, A. July 7, 2016. The curious fates of well-known artists’ pets . Hyperallergic. Obtainable at:  

OMGFacts. (2017, February 22). The true story of Andrew Jackson’s swearing parrot . Medium. Obtainable at:  

The Audrey Hepburn deer – pippen! August 28, 2015. The whole lot Audrey Hepburn. Obtainable at:  

Woodward, D. January 23, 2013. Salvador Dalí’s Ocelot . AnOther. Obtainable at:  

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