The Quick Report

These Celebrities Had the Strangest Pets

When choosing a pet, cats or dogs won’t do for celebrities. Many of The Rich and Famous tend to pick an unconventional animal companion, one that makes a statement. Here are 10 celebrities who had the strangest pets.

10. Andrew Jackson: African Gray Parrot

andrew jackson and African Gray Parrot
Photos by Ibrahim Al-Qenaei and Mathew Brady

Former President Andrew Jackson had an African gray parrot named “Pol.” Early in his political career, Jackson’s violent tendencies were well known. Later, Jackson became religious, quiet, and subdued. During Jackson’s funeral, Pol was removed because he was swearing (in Spanish and English). With a lifespan of over 40 years, Pol likely learned his vocabulary from Jackson before his conversion.

9. Teddy Roosevelt: White House Zoo

Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution Archives,

When the Roosevelt family arrived at the White House, they turned it into a zoo. They kept a guinea pig, a one-legged rooster, a hyena, a zebra, ponies, lions, a bear, and a snake. Animals were always welcome in the White House. Once Quentin Roosevelt brought a pony up the elevator to cheer up his sick brother Archie.

8. Audrey Hepburn: Deer

Audrey Hepburn and Deer
Photo by Scott Carroll

When Audrey Hepburn was filming the movie “Green Mansions” a baby deer named “Pippin” was her costar. Hepburn took the fawn home to bond with it. Pretty soon, the deer followed her everywhere, even into grocery stores. After the film, Hepburn adopted the deer. She allowed the deer the freedom to walk around her home and estate.

7. George Clooney: Potbellied Pig

George Clooney and pig
Photo by Nicolas Genin and Brittany Sawyer

George Clooney’s closest companion for 18 years was a 300-pound potbellied pig named Max. He purchased the pig for his then-girlfriend Kelly Preston, who left Max behind after the breakup. Clooney jokes it’s the longest relationship he ever had. Although George built Max a shelter a few yards away from the main house, the pig often slept in Clooney’s bed.

5. Elvis Presley: Chimpanzee

Elvis Presley and Chimpanzee

Elvis had lots of animals, including a chimpanzee named Scatter. The chimp was a bit of a troublemaker (he’d hoist the hemlines on women’s dresses). Scatter’s antics grew out of control, and he was placed in a specially constructed room. Denying his freedom made Scatter’s behavior more aggressive. Scatter died a short time later from cirrhosis of the liver.

6. Steven Tyler: Raccoon

Steven Tyler
Photos by Daigo Oliva and Quinten de Graaf

Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler has a pet raccoon that places on his shoulder and takes him every day. He even brings the raccoon along to go fishing. Although movies portray raccoons as rabid troublemakers, domesticated raccoons can be purchased legally. Raccoons can be litter box trained and are said to be as friendly as dogs.

4. Salvador Dali: Ocelot

Photo by Roger Higgins

Salvador Dali’s most well-known odd pet was an ocelot, Babou. Dali took Babou everywhere, on flights or to restaurants. At a high-end Manhattan eatery, a diner yelled at Dali about having an exotic animal near her dinner table. Dali responded the animal was, in fact, a house cat that had been painted over in an ‘op art’ design. The embarrassed woman agreed.

3. Tippi Hedren: Lion

Tippi Hedren: Lion
Hollywood Press Syndicate and Francesco

Tippi Hedren, best known for being attacked by “the birds” in the Alfred Hitchcock film, shared her home with a free-roaming full-grown lion named Neil. Her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, says Neil was her best friend. Hedren runs the Shambala Preserve, a Californian sanctuary for over 30 big cats. She now campaigns against the owning of these majestic felines.

2. Mike Tyson: White Tigers

Photos by Super Festivals and Kar Ming Moo
Photos by Super Festivals and Kar Ming Moo

Mike Tyson owned several white tigers that he kept at his residence. This danger became all too real when a woman was attacked and one of the tigers named Kenya ripped her arm off. Tyson took responsibility and compensated the woman for her dismemberment. He eventually gave the tigers away after it became too expensive to care for them.

1. Nicolas Cage: King Cobra

Nicholas Cage
Photos by Nicolas Genin and asad

Nicolas Cage kept two “domesticated” venomous King Cobras named Sheba and Moby. In an interview, Cage said, “They would try to hypnotize me by showing their backs, and then they’d lunge at me.” Cage said, “The neighborhood wasn’t too pleased that I had cobras, so I had them re-homed in a zoo.”