Pets come in all shapes and sizes and with a wide range of price tags. Some cost little or nothing, perhaps gifted to their lucky families or saved from animal shelters. In contrast, some of the rarest and most exotic creatures can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The rich and famous often purchase these unique pets as living, breathing status symbols of their incredible wealth.
Monkeys are very intelligent, so they can be fun but challenging companions. One of the most expensive is the green monkey. This primate, which comes from West Africa, weighs between 7.5 and 11.5 pounds and costs about $16,000.
The De Brazza's monkey is a handsome primate with a white beard that comes from Central Africa. It weighs between eight and fifteen pounds and typically has a price tag of about $12,000.
Snake lovers aren't afraid to shell out the big bucks when it comes to rare serpents. For example, a monsoon ball python will typically cost between $12,000 and $18,000. But that pales in comparison to the amount paid for an extremely rare green tree python that was actually blue.
This exotic beauty sold for $445,800.
The most expensive racehorse was Fusaichi Pegasus which sold for $70 million. But it's not just racehorses that can cost a lot. In 2013, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding named Palloubet D'Halong sold for $15 million. A gentleman named Jan Tops bought the horse, a top competitor on the Grand Prix jumping circuit, for his wife to show. Selle Francais is a French breed known for its elegance, athleticism, and trainability.
Koi are large ornamental carp that are especially popular in Japan. These beautiful fish have an average lifespan of between 25 and 40 years but can also live much longer. The oldest known koi, for instance, lived an impressive 226 years. Equally impressive are the prices people will pay for koi.
In 2018, the most expensive koi was sold for $1.8 million. Her name was S Legend, and she was a nine-year-old female who had just been announced champion of the All Japan Koi Show in 2017. Koi can lay up to 100,000 eggs in one season, so her owners could possibly recoup their money by selling her babies.
A native of northern Australia and southern New Guinea, the black palm cockatoo is a rare and expensive bird. These cockatoos are striking, with smokey grey plumage accented by red cheek patches. You'll need between $15,000 and $20,000 to purchase one, but many people think these birds are worth it.
Black palm cockatoos are highly intelligent and considered one of the best species at imitating speech. They do, however, have a reputation for being difficult to train.
Eye-catching and exotic, zebras make an interesting addition to any pasture. According to NPR, they're also legal to own in most states. Zebras are not cheap, though. They typically cost between $4,000 and $7,000 each. Because zebras are herd animals, you'll want to own at least two. Otherwise, you'll have a lonely, unhappy zebra.
It's also important to note that zebras are not like horses. Most are very difficult to train and have a powerful kick that can kill a hyena.
If you're searching for an exotic house cat, look no further than the Savannah cat, a cross between a domestic cat and an African Serval. These large felines can weigh up to 25 pounds. Another thing that's large about Savannah cats is their price tag.
Because it's not easy to breed Servals and domestic cats, a first-generation kitten from this pairing can cost approximately $20,000. If you want a Savannah cat but don't want to pay that much, look for second or third-generation Savannah cats that have less Serval blood.
In 2011, a red Tibetan mastiff sold for $1.5 million in Zhejiang, China. Later, in 2014, a purebred Tibetan mastiff puppy sold for almost $2 million. These massive dogs, which were once used for hunting in central Asia and Tibet, are considered a status symbol in China.
The good news is that if you really want one of these rare dogs, you might be able to find one in the United States for much less. The typical cost of a Tibetan mastiff in the States is between $1,500 and $5,000.
Some people mock pigeons, calling them vermin or even rats with wings. If those people only knew that in 2018, a "lowly" pigeon sold for $1.8 million. The two-year-old bird is a Belgium racing pigeon named New Kim.
Wilder still, she's not the only million-dollar pigeon. In 2019, another racing pigeon named Armando sold for $1.48 million.
Once thought to be extinct, the Yunnan box turtle is highly coveted in China as a good luck charm. This small and rather plain-looking turtle typically sells on the black market for approximately $15,000 in China and as much as $200,000 in the United States.
However, even common North American box turtles can sell for up to $20,000 on the black market in China and Hong Kong.
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