Exotic Pets Owned By Celebrities (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
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After the incident in Ohio this past week that left nearly 50 exotic animals dead, some have called into question the rules behind owning exotic pets.
According to the Associated Press, sanctuaries don't have the space or the money to take care of exotic pets that owners no long want. Kari Bagnall, founder of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary told the news organization, "The novelty wears off, and then they turn into what they are: wild animals."
For some, taking in an exotic pet is actually helping the animal, owners argue. One teenage girl who made news earlier this year for sharing her bed with a Bengal tiger cared for the animal because there are few places in the wild for the animal to live now. According to the IUCN Red List, the Bengal tiger population may be less than 2,500 due to habitat loss and poaching.
Other celebs have shown their interest in animals in a different way -- namely, by stripping off their clothes to support animal rights, as part of various campaigns by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). "Smallville" star Laura Vandervoort recently became the latest celebrity to appear in a PETA ad campaign to advocate for reptiles killed in the name of fashion.
Check out these celebrities who have owned exotic or unusual pets in recent years.