These surprising animals can legally be kept as pets in the UK but how many would you dare to have?

WHEN we were growing up, you either belonged to a dog or cat family – in fact, the most exotic pet any of our mates had was probably a rabbit.

But it turns out, there are PLENTY of very unusual animals you can legally keep as pets in the UK.

But would you dare to adopt them?

Sugar Glider

As pet website Ruffle Snuffle reports, sugar gliders are as adorable as they are high maintenance.

They might look like flying squirrels but sugar gliders actually belong to the marsupial family – just like kangaroos.


As their name suggests, they survive on a diet of tree sap but will also eat insects, fruit and small rodents.

If you're thinking of adopting one yourself, be aware that sugar gliders need plenty of space and like to be up high because they live in trees in the wild.

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According to Pets4Homes, sugar gliders "should be housed in a mesh (make sure the gaps are no bigger than half an inch) cage that is no smaller than 24" x 24" and at least 36" high. Gliders need plenty of space to jump and climb."


On first glance, they might look like giant guinea pigs – and you'd be somewhat correct.

Capybaras, which are native to South Africa, weigh up to 65kg – but they're actually semi-aquatic too.

So if you fancy having one of your own, you'll need to have a swimming pool that's at least 4ft deep before the council will give you the license you need to adopt a capybara.

Once you've proven you're capable of owning one of these exotic animals, you need to feed your capybara a diet of grass, vegetables and fruit.

What's more, their teeth are always growing which means you'll also need to have some chewing sticks on standby so they don't get out of hand.

Marmoset Monkey

Marmoset monkeys are incredibly intelligent animals that you can currently have as a pet in the UK – but the RSPCA is campaigning to change this.

Why? Not only do they have very specific dietary requirements but they're also very intelligent animals that thrive in rich and complex environment – which you just can't provide at home.

The monkeys mostly eat tree gum and sap as well as lizards and frogs which can be hard to find in the UK.

African Pygamy Hedgehog

There's no denying that hedgehogs are absolutely adorable – but they're high maintenance pets that you shouldn't just buy on a whim.

It's currently legal to own an African pygamy hedgehog in the UK but their natural habitats are savannas in West, East and Central Africa, according to the RSPCA.

The Animal Welfare Act means that owners must be able to meet the hedgehog's full welfare needs.

The RSPCA does not recommend them as pets as they're nocturnal and solitary creatures.

So despite their adorable appearance, they are still wild animals that won't just slot perfectly into any household.

If you do go ahead and adopt one, the hedgehogs can live in a rabbit hut – but it must be kept at a constant temperature of around 23 degrees Celsius as they're very sensitive to cold air.

Fennecc Fox

On our street, you can find foxes rifling through our bins almost every night – but Fennecc foxes are all together much cuter.

AND you can currently legally keep them as pets in the UK.

According to British Pet Insurance, the small desert fox have the "personalities and movements" of a cat with "all of the energy and enthusiasm of a dog".

The adorable foxes can live up to 14 years and spend roughly 40 per cent of their time sleeping.

Fancy having one of your own? Then you'll need to feed them a mix of dog and cat food along with vegetables and fruit.

Mexican Walking Fish

Can't decide between a fish or a lizard? Then an axolotl might just be the way to go.

That said, they have to be kept separately to all other fish in case they eat them.

As the British Pet Insurance reports, they have "superior regenerative qualities" – meaning they can regrow limbs if they get injured.

And if you look after them well enough, an axolotl can live for up to 10 years too.

Giant African Land Snail

Whenever it rains, we can easily find about 30 snails lingering around our gardens.

But if you're mad keen on them, the giant African land snail blows all the other kinds out of the water.

When they reach full adult size, they weigh roughly the same as a tennis ball and are 7.8 inches in length.

Although they're legal to own in the UK, it's important that they're kept in a heated cage to avoid disrupting the ecosystem of your local area – i.e. wiping out all other snails.

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