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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

From lizards and owls to deers and wallaroos: unusual pets owned by 13 stars and royals

As Salma Hayek shares snaps of her pet owl, Kering, we take a look at the stars who have something a little more exotic than a cat or dog at home

While most of us are content to have a cat, dog or hamster at home, there are always those for whom the idea of a pet is a little more outside the box.

Here in the UAE, we’ve become accustomed to seeing people posting photos of monkeys or even big cats. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, often shares photos of giraffes on his Instagram account.

Over in Hollywood, Salma Hayek posts regularly about her pet owl, while Reese Witherspoon's donkey, named Honky, has become very popular on her Instagram page.

One of the most famous owners of a slightly different pet was George Clooney, who had Max the potbellied pig for 18 years in the 1990s and 2000s, calling their bond: “My longest relationship to date.”

“When Max is hungry, he lumbers over to the front door and lies down lengthwise over the welcome mat, completely blocking the entrance,” Clooney said of his pet, who he had originally bought for his girlfriend, the late Kelly Preston, who would go on to marry John Travolta. “He then grunts and squeals until someone brings him breakfast.”

Having plenty of land certainly helps if you’re looking to own something bigger than a tortoise, and Peppermint actress Jennifer Garner’s Oklahoma farm is the perfect place for her cows – “the lawnmowers”, as she calls them – and her many chickens.

Stars have long surrounded themselves with animals that wouldn’t be traditionally considered pets, with Breakfast at Tiffany’s star Audrey Hepburn favouring a pet deer. Actress Melanie Griffith, meanwhile, famously grew up with lions at home, thanks to her mother, Tippi Hedren, who not only helped rescue big cats, but then kept them as pets on her land.

Tori Spelling admits that her house is a “zoo”, and she’s not just referring to her five children. With numerous dogs and pigs living at her Hidden Hills mansion in California, the Beverly Hills 90210 star also has a bearded dragon wandering around the house.

And proof that he might be tough on the outside, but he’s soft as marshmallow on the inside, action star Arnold Schwarzenegger regularly shares snaps of his donkey, Lulu, and miniature pony, Whiskey, joining him at the breakfast table for snacks.

Scroll through the gallery for some more of the stars most out-of-the-ordinary pets.

Updated: February 10, 2021 11:18 AM

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