The 15 Cutest Exotic Animals in the World

cutest exotic animals
Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Iqbal Muakhid

Picking the cutest exotic animals is not an easy task, but someone had to do it. Here are 15 of the cutest exotic animals and where to find them ethically.

Exotic animals are always interesting to learn about — especially when they’re adorable! Take a look at the list of the cutest exotic animals we’ve compiled for you and learn a little about them. 

1. Serval Cats

Servas are from Africa and can run up to 50 mph.
Servas are from Africa and can run up to 50 mph.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 3342)

Native to Africa, these exotic cats have longer legs than your typical domesticated house cat and can run up to 50 mph. Their larger ears make them advanced hunters, and they have been known to close their eyes to better utilize their listening skills.

2. Fennec Foxes

Fennec foxes have large ears and are great hunters, as well as being one of the cutest exotic animals.
Fennec foxes have large ears and are great hunters, as well as being one of the cutest exotic animals.
(Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Zetong Li)

Fennec foxes, like servals, have larger ears than their domesticated cousins and can use them to better hear their prey. They can even hear prey underground! They are native to Northern Africa and Saharan areas and are considered closer to a dog than a cat. They are very social animals and need a lot of socialization to recharge their energy reserves.

3. Axolotl

Axolotls hail from Mexico and like fresh water.
Axolotls hail from Mexico and like fresh water.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / LaDameBucolique)

Axolotls are from Mexico and are the perfect mix between salamander and fish. They live in freshwater areas. They eat everything from worms to beef and need large water holes to survive. These odd-looking aquatic creatures are definitely one of the cutest exotic animals.

Into life under the sea, rather than fluffy land-dwelling animals? Check out our listicle 6 Wholesome Shark Facts (Plus A Surprisingly Creepy One).

4. Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are one of the cutest exotic animals and love sugary foods. 
Sugar gliders are one of the cutest exotic animals and love sugary foods. 
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / gayleenfroese2)

Sugar gliders live in the trees of Australia and Tasmania and mostly enjoy sugary foods (hence the name). They can glide like a flying squirrel thanks to skin membranes on their sides, which they use to find food and escape from predators. 

5. Margay Cats, One Of the Cutest Exotic Animals

Margay cats live in the trees of South America.
Margay cats live in the trees of South America.
(Foto: Colourbox.de)

The Margay Cat, similar to an ocelot, makes its home in trees. Found in South America and Mexico, these hunters can jump up to 12 feet in the air. They hunt primarily at night and are fast on their feet (paws).

6. Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are named for their abilities to root through hedges for prey.
Hedgehogs are named for their abilities to root through hedges for prey.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / TomaszProszek)

Hedgehogs are technically members of the rodent family. They are native to Africa, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Hedgehogs were named for their ability to root through the “hedges” for prey. They have quills on their backsides, which they use when threatened. With weak eyesight, hedgehogs use their hearing and sense of smell to root out insects.

7. Dwarf Pigs

Dwarf pigs may be cute, but they have a sad history.
Dwarf pigs may be cute, but they have a sad history.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / luctheo)

These tiny teacup pigs are adorable, happy and intelligent pigs. They are originally from Vietnam. However, they are often malnourished on purpose to maintain a smaller size and need a lot of care and space. These exotic pigs should be left to the wild farms where they can be bred to their natural proportions. 

8. Hyacinth Macaws

Hyacinth Macaws are affectionate and can live up to 60 years,
Hyacinth Macaws are affectionate and can live up to 60 years,
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Hans)

These smart birds are built for strength and climbing. Originally from South America, they are sadly endangered. The species needs proper care and attention to ensure its long-term survival. These birds can live up to 60 years and are known to be affectionate toward humans.

9. Chinchillas

Chinchillas are hyperactive and love to play.
Chinchillas are hyperactive and love to play.
(Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Tanya Kusova)

Chinchillas are tiny cute exotic animals who partake in adorable dust baths, where they burrow into the dust for cleaning. They are native to South America. They are very active and have a lot of energy. They require very specific temperatures in order to thrive.

10. Wallabies

Wallabies are the mini kangaroos you've always dreamed of.
Wallabies are the mini kangaroos you've always dreamed of.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pen_ash)

Wallabies are miniature kangaroos hailing from Australia. They are quick and strong and mainly like to hang out by watering holes and jump around. There are 11 different kinds of wallabies in the world.

11. Sloth Bears: A Lesser-Known Cute Exotic Animal

Sloth bears are so-named thanks to their unusual claws and teeth.
Sloth bears are so-named thanks to their unusual claws and teeth.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JudaM)

India is home to sloth bears, where they can be found in trees often hanging upside down. Their unusual claws and teeth gave them their nickname Sloth Bears. Their habitats are being degraded, making these bears vulnerable to endangerment

12. Red Pandas

Red pandas are actually closer to raccoons than pandas.
Red pandas are actually closer to raccoons than pandas.
(Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Jenna)

These red and smaller pandas are originally from Asia but are recently considered endangered. They have been hunted for many years and have a decreasing natural habitat. They are more similar to raccoons than their larger panda cousins, and they have a false thumb that helps them to climb trees and consume bamboo.

13. Koalas

Koalas more closely resemble a wombat than a bear.
Koalas more closely resemble a wombat than a bear.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / AnnyksPhotography)

The koala is more closely related to wombats than bears, and is native to Australia. They love to climb trees and have a pouch for their offspring, similar to a kangaroo. They are considered vulnerable as a species as they were hunted for their fur and now have a serious loss of habitat.

14. Tarsiers

Tarsiers are small primates that can rotate their heads 180 degrees.
Tarsiers are small primates that can rotate their heads 180 degrees.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / SoleneC1)

Tarsiers are small primates from Asia. They are a mix between lemurs and monkeys and are known for their large eyes and advanced visual abilities. They can even rotate their heads a stunning 180 degrees — making them not just one of our cutest exotic animals, but talented as well!

15. Meerkats: Utopia's Final Exotic Animal

Meerkats can even nurse their young while standing upright.
Meerkats can even nurse their young while standing upright.
(Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Manuel Bauer)

Similar in size to a squirrel, meerkats are known for their upright stance. Originally from Africa, the meerkat uses his hind legs to give him a better visual of the surrounding area. They thrive when cooperating as a group. They tend to live in burrows and are known as good hunters.

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