Keeping pets is a deeply rewarding experience that is undertaken for a myriad of reasons. For some, they want a protector, or an animal that can bring them benefit through the products they produce. Some just want an addition to their family that can become everyone’s best friend.
For pet owners who make owning pets a hobby, caring for and displaying exotic animals becomes the main goal. Unfortunately, many pets available in U.S. and U.K. pet stores are unavailable on island, which makes keeping exotic pets difficult. If you’re looking for a pet that’s not a dog or a cat that is also allowed on island, look no further than the list below!
These educational and short-stay pets are perfect for kids, or for animal lovers who want a short-term commitment. You can catch tadpoles in the spring from almost any pond on island. The adorable little critters are the first stage in the life cycle of the marine toad, and you’ll get to see them turn into little toads before your very eyes!
Although the marine toad is not native to Bermuda, it is an important contributor to our ecosystem. As we do not have any native amphibians, toads occupied a niche without displacing any other animals. They act as an important environmental control upon cockroaches and centipedes, so it’s important to raise healthy tadpoles.
Tadpoles are very easy to care for and look marvelous on display in a fish tank filled with live pond plants. Take a look at this tadpole care sheet to see if keeping the little creatures is for you.
Feral chickens overrun Bermuda, but chickens of your own can prove to be rewarding and useful pets. A different breed entirely than feral chickens, chickens of your own can provide fresh eggs every morning, making them pay for themselves over time.
Chickens are cheap and easy to keep, with the main concern being space. Chickens need adequate room to roost and forage for food, and they need to be kept in an enclosure covered at the top to prevent them from escaping. In addition, chickens can be quite affectionate and make wonderful family pets. They don’t mind being picked up and love to be hugged and cuddled.
If you think raising chickens is something you’d like to try, head over to the Bermuda Poultry Fanciers Society for more information and to buy chickens on island.
That’s right, these dangerous animals can make wonderful pets for owners who want an interesting creature to display, but not touch. It’s becoming increasingly popular to keep insects as pets, as they take up a small space and are sure to interest guests.
Centipede care is not complicated, especially in Bermuda where you may be able to avoid purchasing additional heating lamps due to our hot climate. However, housing centipedes should be treated like housing venomous snakes, and as such makes caring for them more difficult. Those who are accidentally bitten by centipedes can expect intense pain and swelling.
If you want a truly exotic pet that will fascinate you with its behaviors and beauty, a centipede might be the pet for you. You’ll have to catch the centipede yourself very carefully, and introduce it into your habitat. You can find out how to care for centipedes here.
Salt Water Fish
Bermuda has pet stores on island selling a multitude of fresh water fish, but why not take advantage of the amazing salt water ecosystems in your back yard? Anyone can raise a gold fish, but who has the chance to raise rock pool fishes and invertebrates right out of the Atlantic Ocean?
Keeping a salt-water fish tank is no easy feat, but you will be rewarded by the beautiful ecosystem you have created, eventually being able to regulate itself after establishment. If you need any more convincing on how satisfying these tanks really are, look no further than XL Catlin’s lobby, where their stunning eighteen-foot fish tank will mesmerize you.
It’s important to conduct research into keeping a salt-water tank before undertaking the endeavor. However, bear in mind that you’ll be sourcing your substrate and animals from the oceans around you – you wont be able to import many ornamental plants and animals seen in commercial tanks.
Though Bermuda can’t import many of the interesting reptiles available in pet stores overseas due to environmental concerns, we have our own reptiles on island that the budding herpetologist can care for. Although we have four species of lizard in Bermuda, only two are suitable to be pets – the Jamaican Anole and Antiguan Anole (Warwick Lizard). The Bermuda skink is a protected species and should not be removed from the wild, while the Antiguan Anole is rare and difficult to catch.
Many Bermudians spent their youth catching lizards with grass nooses; why not create an environment for them in your own home and keep them for a while? Lizards are easy to keep, but must be fed live food, which may make some people squeamish.
If you want to give keeping lizards a shot, take a look at this guide.
It’s important to consider the ethics of removing animals from the wild. You should provide the utmost standard of care for all of the pets on this list, and endeavor to release your pet back to where they belong whenever possible after you’ve enjoyed them for a little while.