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Bhopal: Cats & dogs are great but exotic animals make amazing pets too!

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 11:50 PM IST

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Some people just don’t have the stomach for the usual cat and mouse animals, but prefer the challenge and thrill of owning something unique and rather eye-catching. It’s a great way to feed your exotic animal fetish and hobby-ish nature. Pets like cats and dogs are easy to find in Bhopal, but there is also a surprisingly high demand for more unusual animals like hedgehog, sugar glider and macaw.

You’re probably familiar with all the typical categories of pet devotees. Dog and cat lovers are so devoted to their favored species that it’s been a long running debate about which is the better pet, and each side makes its feeling known far and wide.  But here are some of the exotic pets and their owners from Bhopal that you’d really like to know and encounter:

Pet-Sugar Glider, Owner- Shubham Sharma

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Shubham owns a couple of sugar gliders which he bought from Mumbai. He has named them Mickey and Mini. Shubham told Free Press that other than sugar glider he also has cats, dogs, turtles and tortoises but loves sugar gliders more than his other pets. They love to eat juicy fruits, vegetables and insects. Since they are nocturnal, they sleep all day and go crazy at night.

“They literally bark like dogs when they are hungry or make mating call,” told Shubham. People don’t give a very welcoming reaction when they see my gliders, so I don’ take them out much. Sugar gliders make great pets for people with time and patience to care for them properly. However, they are not low maintenance pets, thus aren’t right for everyone,” Shubham added.

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Pet- Hedgehog, Owner- Praveen Kumar


Most people prefer pets cats and dogs but I wanted something different, something exotic. So I bought a hedgehog from Thailand for Rs 50k. “They make terrific companions when housed and fed properly,” said Praveen Kumar while talking to Free Press. The skin on the backs of Hedgehogs is also covered with thorns but unlike porcupines they do not shoot their sharp spines in defence. “Though they have might have hurt a child who tried to play with my ‘popo’, once or twice,” told Praveen.
It needs a lot of patience if you want to pet a hedgehog. Praveen also told, “When not in mood, Popo curls up his body into tight little ball and it takes him while to uncurl and I have to stare at cute but prickly little ball on my lap for a while.”

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Pet- Macaw, Owner- Vibha Tripathi


This huge, colourful and beautiful bird is an ultimate bird pet. “But choosing a macaw as a pet bird can turn out to be a serious mistake if people don’t know what they are getting into by bringing home such a complex parrot,” said Vibha while talking to Free Press. Vibha told that she used to get bored at home and because she is fond of birds, her husband gifted her Macaw which he bought from Thailand for Rs 2.5 lakh. “She loves to spend time with me and never leaves me alone; ‘Baby’ comes to kitchen while I cook and also likes to eat with the family at the dining table,” added Vibha. Baby likes to eat dry fruits, broccoli, walnut, sweet corn and fruits. I also brought another grey parrot to give her company.

Pet- Exotic Persian cat, Owner- Vishnu Dutt Tripathi


Vishnu is a renowned dog breeder of Bhopal and is Secretary of Kennel Club of Bhopal. Exotic Persian cats are also known as shorthaired Persians. Vishnu told that he bought two cats from Mumbai, one for Rs 85k. But kept only one of them and named her ‘Momo’. Vishnu told Free Press that, “Momo loves to eat sea food and sometimes we even have to face her tantrums as when it comes to food, she is very choosy.”

“Momo is very reserved in  nature, she does not like to get socialise much,” told Vishnu. Momo has green eyes, silver hair coating and a sturdier, more robust body. She is very moody but when in mood she loves jumping at the toy I dangle from a stick. “She loves to stay in an air conditioned room. I had to purchase another AC for Momo,” told Vishnu while talking to Free Press.

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Published on: Sunday, April 14, 2019, 09:33 AM IST