5. Lynne (and 7 others): the Rothschild giraffes who share a family dinner table
In many ways, the setting is just a typical family breakfast. Young children and their mother enjoy croissants and orange juice while sitting around a table together. But things become a little different when you notice a giraffe poking its head through the window to join them for a drink and a bite to eat. In fact, the Carr-Hartley family has the unusual distinction of sharing their home with eight Rothschild giraffes, some of the rarest on the planet. Talk about weird pets. In the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest animals are free to roam their 140-acre estate and are regular visitors at their English-style manor built in the colonial era. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammal beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. Owners Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley literally share their dining table with them. They know all of the giraffes by name: 13-year-old Lynne is the leader of the herd and can be very persistent about getting treats.
4. Nils Olav: the knighted penguin
Penguin Nils Olav has been an honorary member and mascot of the Norwegian King’s Guard since 1972. After over 35 years of ‘duty’ he was knighted at Edinburgh Zoo. During the ceremony, Nils had a sword dubbed on each side of his head, where his shoulders should be, to confirm his regimental knighthood. A citation from King Harald of Norway was read out, which described Nils as a penguin ‘in every way qualified to receive the honor and dignity of knighthood.’
3. Nick Boing: the lamb who couldn’t adapt with other sheep
What happens when an animal can’t get along with his own kind? Well, he moves in with some kind humans and becomes one of those strange pets. At least that’s what happened to this little lamb – Nick Boing, an unusual pet with an unusual name. Nick’s story began about three years ago when his owner David Palmer and his family were visiting the Goldcliff Nature Reserve in Newport, England. They stumbled upon a newborn lamb bleating in the reserve’s tall grass. They picked it up and tried to leave it at a nearby farm – However, the lamb refused to go and kept following the Palmer family around until they decided to take him home. After that, there was no going back! Though the Palmers tried to take the lamb back to a farm twice, he refused to settle down with the other sheep. They finally gave up and decided to just keep him.
Now Nick Boing spends his days sitting near the front door, watching the world go by, and nights on the family sofa watching television. He has his own ‘mansion’ complete with carpet and windows in the yard, but only goes there reluctantly when pushed out at night and that too after a special treat.
2. Fantik: the llama who lives in an apartment
Russian bear trainer Dimitry Nikolau keeps an unusual pet in his Moscow apartment. Fantik has been his pet for over 10 years. Dimitry decided to give up beat training after he became a father. He then adopted a llama who was shot by thieves at his garden. He got another llama who was been living with him ever since. He is now looking for a kangaroo to expand the family.
1. Tommy Tucker: the fashion modelling squirrel
Tommy Tucker was a squirrel adopted by a woman in Washington DC in the early 1940s after she found the critter orphaned in a tree. He soon became part of the family, as it were — accompanying the lady of the house on shopping trips, for instance. She also, it turned out, enjoyed dressing him up in specially made outfits. Tommy became immortalized after posing for fashion photography by Nina Leen/Time & Life Pictures.