August 7, 2015 Written by

The strange trio found themselves in the dark forest contemplating the prospects of encountering imminent doom from … mammalian predators! Gripped with fear with borderline delusional pathologies, the three locked elbows and proceed to saunter – rather merrily – directly into the face of danger.

Was this outrageous bravado? Gross mental instability? Or simply 1939 Hollywood fantasy cinema?

Swashbuckling adventurers ourselves, we at The Park on Main®, the pet-friendly luxury hotel in Highlands, North Carolina, will give you a clue. Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow – as hay and blood pressure levels were rising – are fueling their anxieties with the chant: “Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!”  The movie? The Wizard of Oz – just in case you missed all the clues.

We at The Park on Main® hold a certain affinity for creatures from the animal kingdom – at least those adorable ones we humans employ as pets. While we refuse to reveal our preferences between the canine and the feline, we do extend our reservations about guests bringing their pet lions or tigers or bears. Oh my.


Most of our guests prefer bringing their dogs; in fact, we have one solid black Scottish terrier (he even barks with a Scottish accent) – almost 3 years old – who serves as our mascot. His name is Mr. Pickles and he is quite the socialite, greeting the gibbering bipedal Homo sapiens, their hairless bodies clad in some strange cloth material, with such refined (and bouncy) sophistication. (By the way, Mr. Pickles is not related to Dorothy’s Toto.)

We’ve even made The Park on Main® the foster home for Clyde, an exuberant if laid back, 9-year-old Mountain Cur mix as part of our partnership with Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. He was adopted last June.

But what are some unusual pets humans can own? CBS News listed several, which may be legal to own depending on individual state laws:

  • Capybara, the world’s largest rodent, lives 8-12 years and weighs 140 pounds. We’re quite sure your cat will chase this mouse just once.Unusual Pets People Own
  • The serval, which lives up to 19 years, belongs in the cat family. Its origin is central and southern Africa. Among wild cats, it is considered the most successful hunters, making one kill for every two attempts, more than double any other wild cat. Fido won’t even think about chasing this cat.
  • The chinchilla lives 15-22 years, originates from South America’s Andes Mountains and has fur so dense water rarely reaches its skin. It cleans itself with dust.
  • Australia’s walleroo is a mix of kangaroo and wallaby. It might be kind of fun to watch how it would interact with more conventional pets.
  • The axolotl – a type of salamander – has something of a biological problem. From Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in central Mexico, it cannot metamorphose into a land creature while in its larval stage.
  • The kinkajou’s name fits this creature well. Resembling a rat, the kinkajou lives nearly 25 years and has its origins in Central and South America. The animal is domesticated in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and is called “micole.”
  • The pacman frog (horned frog) lives 6-10 year and originates in South America. Its large mouth led to its naming after the video game.
  • With origins in Chile, the degu gets more easily with its owners than hamsters and gerbils because of its higher intelligence.
  • The hedgehog lives 3-8 years. It originates from Europe, Asia and Africa. When it encounters a new smell, it licks or bites the smell’s source, creates froth with its mouth which it puts on its quills. Researchers think this is how it camouflages its scent.
  • About the size of an adult cat, the genet can squeeze through spaces big enough for its head. It originates from Africa and lives up to 20 years.
  • The sugar glider carries its offspring in a pouch like a kangaroo. Originating from Australia, Papua and Indonesia, the sugar glider is a marsupial that can glide up to 500 feet through the air. It lives up to 15 years.Unusual Pets People Own
  • The Northern African fennec fox uses its very large ears to listen for underground prey, such as insects and rodents. It hunts at night.
  • The pygmy goat lives up to 15 years. It originates from Cameroon Valley, West Africa.
  • From Central Africa, the ball python can live up to 30 years. When cornered, it rolls into a tight ball, which is how it got its name.
  • The bearded dragon comes from Australia. It can change color based on temperature or when exhibiting male dominance over its territory. It also expands its beard and can live up to 8 years.
  • The pot-bellied pig came from Vietnam. It can grow to the size of a large dog, but with a much bulkier build. It can live up to 15 years.
  • The oldest tarantula lived to nearly 50 years, although its normal lifespan is 25 years. It can be found anywhere. Besides being creepy, tarantulas’ not-so-redeeming characteristic is shedding their skin. New skins are soft but harden after a few days.


While we at The Park on Main® have mixed feelings about these non-conventional pets, we encourage humans to explore their peculiar personality pet predilections.

Did you find this information on exotic pets helpful? Are you planning to head this way? Come visit us or make reservations today. Let us know how we can be of service to you by following us on our social media channels.

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About The Park on Main

The Park on Main hotel is located in the quaint village of Highlands, North Carolina, a picturesque mountain retreat nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. A boutique style hotel, the Park on Main offers 24 luxury suites, each facing an exquisitely landscaped central park-like garden terrace.

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