A team of animal welfare experts from Wageningen University in the Netherlands suggests animal lovers might want to consider a range of wild species when searching for a domesticated pet.
In an effort to evaluate a number of animals, from domestic to wild, on their suitability as pets, researchers developed a framework and subsequent criteria to rate 90 different species on their biology, needs, danger to humans and well-being when kept in captivity. The framework was curated by outsourcing expert knowledge and information from a number of encyclopedias to identify the short phrases that best describe each animal.
Surprisingly absent in the top 25 animals most suitable as pets, in consideration of harm to both themselves and humans, are dogs and cats. Contrary to popular belief, if you’re in search of man’s best friend, the Sika deer is the furry friend you want. Following closely behind are the Agile wallaby, Tammar wallaby, llama and the Asian palm civet.
Bonus points if you’re familiar with more than two of these all-star mammals. Ultimately, the researchers are hopeful this newfound framework will be used to better understand the implications of keeping wild animals in captivity. Check out the entire list of top 25 furry best friends below.