Animals are great and loyal companions, while also being stress relievers. They have the ability to lift up our spirits at the worst of times just by being with us. If you have an unconditional love for animals, more than you do for humans, then you are not alone. A recent study found that humans have more empathy for their pets than other human beings.
While most of us rescue animals from shelters, for the rich, it’s a whole different story. For them, it’s all about status and having something exotic as part of their collection. These 10 pets are part of genetic manipulation, interspecies breeding and incremental birth rates, to keep the numbers low and the prices high.
1. The Green Monkey – $16,000,000
It’s not a monkey but actually a horse that goes by the name, “The Green Monkey”. The thoroughbred American racehorse, was fathered by another thoroughbred American racehorse, called Forestry. Green Monkey resides in Ocala, Florida, and became a global fascination at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Calder Select 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale. The stallion ran an astonishing eighth of a mile in 9.4 seconds during the under-tack show at Calder Race Course.
In 2006, he was auctioned for $16,000,000 but suffered an injury soon after the purchase was made. Although he did not return to the race track for almost a year, Green Monkey returned at the age of 3 and retired with on-track earnings of $10,440.
2. Sir Lancelot – $155,000
Dogs are not just pets. They are companions and part of our family. Edgar and Nina Otto felt the same with their beloved yellow Labrador named Sir Lancelot. Sadly, Lancelot died of cancer and the Otto’s were heartbroken by their loss. The couple, desperate to bring their beloved family member back to life, decided to choose the ultimate way. They had safely stored Lancelot’s DNA and with the help of science, they cloned him.
It cost the couple $155,000 and took years to get him back but according them, it was worth it. The cloning procedure was done in conjunction with a San Francisco firm called BioArts and the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea. The cloned version of Sir Lancelot, who goes by ‘Lancey’ for short, is the first cloned dog in the world.
3. White Lion Cubs – $138,000
White Lions are very rare since a genetic mutation causes them to be completely white. The certain breed was first spotted in the wilderness in 1938 in the Timbavati area. They have white fur and light eyes, which gives them a very unique look. This unique look however, causes them to be purchased as pets. They also come with huge price tags; as much as $138,000. Scientists believe that the recessive genes in both the parents are responsible for the pristine white color of the cubs.
4. Lavender Albino Ball Python – $40,000
The rare genetic morph of the ball python is highly valued among snake enthusiasts. They are considered to be easy to keep pets but need a specific type of habitat to survive. In 1992, the first albino ball pythons were sold in the United States for $7,500 each. Today, purebred Lavender Albino Ball Pythons can cost a whopping $40,000 each. They are cross bred in dozens of variations and have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years in captivity.
5. Missy Madison – $1,200,000
Missy Madison is not just any ordinary cow. She belongs to the Holstein breed of cows with plenty of winning titles in her name. The Holstein breed is known for having the highest production of dairy. In 2009, Missy was part of an auction where investors were bidding for her in hopes of producing more of the same breed. The auction started at $10,000 and within two minutes, it was over. It ended when a group of Canadian investors made the final bid for $1,200,000.
6. Stag Beetle – $89,000
There are people who enjoy collecting little bugs and critters. While the idea may sound icky, it helps scientists study the nature of these bugs and how they manage to survive on this planet. Of all the bugs, the stag beetle, one of 1,200 insects in the family Lucanidae, is the most expensive one. While they typically grow to around two inches, the world’s most expensive one was hand-carried to an insect shop by its breeder in central Japan. He sold it for 10 million yen ($89,000).
7. The Bengal Cat – $4,500
The Bengal Cat is a domestic feline that resembles a leopard. They have a happy, active, interactive and extremely intelligent personality that makes them great pets for children. While they love to lay on your lap and take a nap, they are also highly active throughout the day. There are different varieties of these gorgeous felines but most pure breds can cost up to $4,500. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, they also love to play in water.
8. Palm Cockatoo – $16,000
Palm Cockatoos are a remarkable species of Australian parrot. They grow up to 60 cm long, making them the largest species of cockatoo in the world and the largest parrot in Australia. One of the most interesting features of this bird is the red color patch on the cheeks that change color when they get excited. Their hard and strong bills allow them to crack open very hard nuts and seeds. The bright colored birds can be very expensive though, since they are only native to Queensland, Australia.
9. Ayam Cemani Chicken – $2,500
The Ayam Cemani chicken, native to Indonesia, is an exotic breed of chicken. These birds are extremely rare and difficult to breed. What makes them unique is the fact that they are entirely black; from their combs to their muscles, bones and internal organs. The birds have been known to carry a high value in Indonesia, where they are believed to have mystical powers. Today, a single Ayam Cemani chicken can cost around $2,500.
10. Tibetan Mastiff – $1.5 Million
The Tibetan Mastiff was originally bred to secure herds of livestock. They are like the dog version of a ferocious lion. Their massive size and speed allows them to outrun an average human being. Although these dogs are huge, they are also friendly and protective of their family members. In 2009, the dogs became a status symbol for the wealthy when a Chinese woman spent $500,000 to buy a purebred Tibetan Mastiff.
Within a year after the first expensive purchase, the trend caught up with the richest people in China. In 2011, a Chinese tycoon broke all records when he spent $1.5 million on an 11 month old Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash. The 180 lbs behemoth was considered the perfect specimen and is currently the world’s heaviest dog.