Aradhya loves sharing information about wildlife, animals and pets—especially dogs.
Wild Animals Kept as Pets in India
Many people think that wild or exotic animals can't be domesticated and don't make good pets. That's not always the case; there are many wild and exotic animals out there that can make good pets. You may be surprised to find out that a few of the domesticated exotic animals on this list can be pretty calm and friendly! Let's take a look.
The Top 11 Most Dangerous and Interesting Wild Animals Kept as Pets in India
- King Cobra
- Indian Elephant
- Indian Sloth Bear or Black Indian Bear
- Indian Wolf
- Indian Langur or Gray or Hanuman Langur Monkeys
- Wolf Hybrid
- Indian Monkey
- Indian Bull
- Bengal Cat
- Indian Fox or Bengal Fox
Pythons are the longest-living snake species of the world and are mostly found in tropical areas of Asia and Africa. The name "python" is taken from a Greek word. Pythons are great constrictors; they kill their prey by squeezing them until they stop breathing.
Pythons are hunters that hunt wild animals, such as monkeys, antelopes, lizards, and some bigger pythons also hunt deer or pig—they can gulp prey bigger than themselves. Pythons are excellent swimmers; they can travel miles in water without any trouble.
Usually, they don't attack humans unless they are provoked or offended; however, a few casualties have been reported from wild python attacks. Also, pet pythons have been known to kill pet birds, rabbits, calves, and lambs. Overall, they are wild and can't be trusted easily.
Interesting Facts About Pythons
- Pythons make good friends; pet pythons are very friendly and responsive.
- Pythons eat only three or four times a year.
- Python skin is very costly; a shoe or jacket made by old python leather can be used for a lifetime or can say for the next 50 years. Humans are their biggest predators because of their skin.
- Pythons are among the longest-living snakes that live approximately 40 years; some may live up to 45 years.
- They have a great digestive system; pythons can gallop and digest prey like wild boar or moderate-sized animals.
A Hindu festival, Maha Shivaratri, is celebrated annually in reverence of the Indian god Shiva. According to Hindus, on this day, Lord Shiva was married to the goddess Parvati. At the Maha Shivaratri festival, also popularly known as Shivaratri, you can see many people exhibiting pet snakes who believe snakes are divine ornaments of Lord Shiva.
2. King Cobra
King cobras are the largest snakes of their species, found mainly in Indian forests through Southeast Asia. Domesticating a king cobra is really challenging, and a simple mistake can be dangerous. In India and in South Asian countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Srilanka, many tribes and nomads keep them as pets.
Usually, king cobras are 12–16 feet long; even some exceptional king cobras are measured up to 18 feet. King cobras are acknowledged as among the most dangerous snakes. This is a very active, large, and fast-moving, highly poisonous snake. Many deaths are reported every year from this snake's bite.
King cobras are fearsome and are believed to be vengeful. In some Indian subcontinent cultures, they are considered culturally significant, especially by Hindus. Many legends and associations with Hindu gods are around in Indian subcontinent cultures.
Interesting Facts About King Cobras
- King cobras have the longest forked tongues of all snake species.
- They are among the fastest-moving snakes.
- They are one of the most aggressive and poisonous snakes.
- They are defensive of their owners, especially for kids.
- King cobras can identify their prey from up to 300 feet away.
3. Indian Elephant
Asian elephants are one of three elephant subspecies; Indian elephants are smaller than African elephants and have broader skulls and larger trunks. Another major difference is that African elephants have larger abdomens than Indian elephants.
Like Indian king cobras, Indian elephants also have cultural significance and are considered high in spiritual outlook. They have been domesticated in India since ancient times, and they are acknowledged and revered as the son of the Indian god Shiva.
Elephants are quiet, intelligent, consistent, and very affectionate animals. They are very social and kind, but there have been some occurrences where they have gotten annoyed and attacked humans or other pets. They are among the biggest and most powerful animals, and when they get angry, they can become very dangerous and violent.
Interesting Facts About Indian Elephants
- Elephants are categorized as megaherbivores and can consume up to 150 kg (330 lb) of plants per day.
- Myanmar is the only country where demand for elephants is increasing because of higher demand in the tourism industry.
- The weight of an Indian elephant is around 2,000–5,000 kg.
- Like African elephants, Indian elephants also hardly sleep.
- Indian elephants have been identified in the endangered category since 1986.
The Mysore Dasara Festival was started in the 15th century by the Vijayanagar kings from the South Indian city. The Dasara Festival had its 400th anniversary in 2010. It is also known as It is also called Navaratri (Nava-Ratri = nine-nights) and is a 10-day festival.
People perform calmly and peacefully, and the city erupts into life; every street and street corner is bustling with activity. During the 10-day festivities, people enjoy watching and riding decked elephants and golden howdah on top of a decorated elephant. The festival is a great attraction for tourists.
4. Indian Sloth Bear or Black Indian Bear
Sloth bears are also known as the Stickney or labiated bear; they are one of three identified species of bears found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The other two are the Himalayan black bear and brown bear. The sloth bear is smaller and weaker than the other two and is less aggressive.
In India, sloth bears are used for circus and dancing competitions by nomads and tribes. They are quick learners and perform as trained and accomplished; bear dance is an ancient Indian custom.
Interesting Facts About Indian Sloth Bears
- The sloth bear is slighter than Himalayan or Indian brown bears. Himalayan bears are the largest and most compact bears among the three bear species of India.
- The sloth bear is more active at night, unlike other Indian and Asian bears, who are diurnal.
- The sloth bear is easier to domesticate than any other bear species of the Asian subcontinent and India.
5. Indian Wolf
Indian wolves are the smallest and weakest animal of wolf species, but they are moderately fast runners. Wolves are not a domesticated animal; they are still wild and dangerous and can't be trusted as a pet.
In India, they are the biggest threat to children. Though many people are interested in keeping them as pets, it is not safe. Indian wolves have a history of preying on children, a phenomenon called "child-lifting." Tons of child lifting cases are reported in Indian villages and urban areas of Indian states from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
If you like to keep a pet like a wolf, you can choose a dog that looks like a wolf.
Interesting Facts About Indian Wolves
- The Indian wolf is one of the smallest subspecies of the wolf family.
- Indian wolves don't have a winter coat; they can't survive in cold climates. These wolves can survive in desert-like areas and are most commonly found in India.
- Indian wolves have not cross-bred with any other subspecies in over 400,000 years that make them a separate species of their own. The Indian wolf's habitat overlaps with the Himalayan wolf's; it is curious that the two have not yet interbred.
- Indian wolves are an endangered species in India.
6. Indian Langur or Gray or Hanuman Langur Monkeys
Indian long-tailed langur monkeys are categorized into two major categories—the one found in Nepal and the Himalayan region and the other found in the rest of India. Both belong to the same species, but they have a slight difference; Himalayan langurs are furrier and smaller in size, and other ones are less hairy with a longer tail.
Monkeys are ancient Indian pets; they are very funny and active animals. Though they can make good friends, they are not suitable for keeping as pets in small apartments or small houses with children.
Langur monkeys can make good friends if they are well trained and domesticated from an early age. Despite this, it is not recommended to keep them as pets because they are wild animals, and they need lots of exercise. If they do not get a sufficient workout, they may become aggressive. Also, they are fairly large in size, and they jump, which may injure children.
Interesting Facts About Indian Gray Langur Monkeys
- Langurs spend half their time on the ground and the other half in the trees.
- Gray langurs have the longest tail of Asian monkey species.
- They adapted to eating tough food that others find indigestible.
7. Wolf Hybrids
A wolfdog is a canine hybrid resulting from crossbreeding a domestic dog with a grey, eastern timber, red, or Ethiopian wolf. People who are interested in keeping a wolf-like dog or want to take a bit of the wildness of a wolf and the loyalty of a dog are getting them as a good alternative to pure-bred wolves. However, if you have children, you need to be very careful to ensure you select the right dog.
Interesting Facts About Wolf Dogs
- Wolf dogs are more intelligent than normal domestic dogs.
- They have better (10–15% more) hearing power than domestic dogs.
- Wolf dogs have fewer health concerns.
- They are less reliable than domestic dogs.
- Wolf dogs are fairly unpredictable and aggressive toward other pets.
8. Indian Monkeys
Monkeys are the most lively, active, and funny animals on earth; they have charismatic personalities and have fun with each other—they can be very cheeky! Monkeys make great pets all over the world, though their behavior varies and is contingent upon their species classifications.
Though monkeys make good friends, it is not recommended to keep them with children since they are hyperactive and naughty animals and can hurt or injure children accidentally; also, they can be tempted or angered easily.
Interesting Facts About Indian Monkeys
- Known monkey species account for approximately 260 living species.
- In India, a total of 13 monkeys species are found; lemurs, lorises, and galagos are not from the monkey family.
- A very little known fact about them is that they are great swimmers; an older monkey can swim about half a mile without any trouble.
- They live in a group that has a ranking system. Female monkeys mate only with males that have higher rankings because it offers them a better chance of survival.
- A monkey caravan can have around 200 members, and they recognize each other very well.
- Monkeys are great copycat artists.
9. Indian Bull
Bulls have been domesticated since ancient times in India. In India, many people worship cows and bulls. In Nepal and some states in India, cows and bulls are sacred, the butchery of cattle is prohibited, and their meat is offensive. Cows and bulls are considered sacred in many other religions around the world.
In South India and some parts of Sri Lanka, a cattle festival called Mattu Pongal is celebrated. Also, in Nepal, Srilanka, and Burma, people celebrate the cow festival and consider them to be religious animals.
In Indian Hinduism, cows and bulls represent the symbol of Dharma; the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength, profusion, and a noble giving to earthly life. Hindus rely heavily on it for milk, dairy products, and for tilling the fields, and they rely on cow dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer.
Bull racing is an ancient Indian sport and very popular in some parts of India, mainly in Indian states like Punjab, Maharashtra, TamilNadu, Kerala, and some other south Indian towns and villages.
Jallikattu was a bull-nestling game that was a popular sport among classical Tamil warriors; still, in many rural parts of Tamilnadu, villagers play such games as a part of Pongal celebrations.
10. Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat is a hybrid breed of domestic cat developed by selective breeding of the Asian leopard cat crossed with a domestic cat. They gained popularity in the late 1900s and early 2000s, and nowadays, they are among the most demanded cats. People like them because of their leopard-like look and very soft and silky coat.
Bengal cats are well-tempered and have a similar nature to other domesticated cats. They are bigger and heavier than other domestic cats; a Bengal's weight can go up to about 5–7 kg.
Many breeders believe that they are more active and sturdier than other cats. And the Bengals are more aggressive and stubborn; they can be annoyed easily and are not reliable with children or other pets.
11. Indian Fox or Bengal Fox
The Bengal foxes, or Indian foxes, are small-sized Indian foxes found in the Himalayan region and Indian continents of Terai of Nepal through southern India and from southern and eastern India. They have long, bushy tails and short, soft, and dense coat fur. People like to keep them as pets because of their trifling size, acquitted expression, and soft and silky coats. Also, they are very active, intelligent, funny, and affectionate animals.
Interesting Facts About Bengal or Indian Foxes
- A chattering cry is their most common call. They also growl, whine, whimper, and bark.
- Bengal foxes form a pair bond that lasts a lifetime.
- Bengal foxes are relatively small foxes with elongated muzzles.
© 2015 ARADHYA
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 05, 2020:
Interesting :) Out of all of these I would feel the safest with a fox or wolve. It depends on what culture your raised in. If a child here would have a cobra anywhere near them and the parents were responsible, they could be arrested and serve jail time for endangering their child. It seems like it is common in India and such. I still dont believe Cobras can be domesticated nor that Pythons are "affectionate" though they may show " appreciation" for being fed by not attacking the owner. These are just opinions afterall they are fascinating creatures :) I would love to see a snake charmer as we dont have them here :) Thank you for sharing :)