Table of Contents
Be it Mike Tyson’s Tiger, Nicolas Cage’s Octopus, or Leo’s African Tortoise, exotic pets attain fame just like their celebrity parents. Even Justin Beiber has a famous pet Boa Constrictor named ‘Johnson’.
But Indian reptile fans, Beliebers, Slytherins, and Parsel Tongues have to watch from afar because Boas (like most other reptiles) are illegal as pets in India. Anyway, have a look at the dragons and scaly alchemists people keep as pets around the World.
Alas, most of the reptiles are illegal to keep as pets in India.
We have brought you seven reptiles that are allowed as pets outside India!
Reptile pets that Indian mothers and the government won’t let you have!
#1 Ball Pythons
Most amazing feature: They probably inspired Pokemons because they curl into a ball when spooked!
Perfect for beginners, Ball Pythons are surprisingly not scary enough. These cute-looking snakes don’t grow longer than 5 feet and curl into a ball when scared, hence the name! Ball Pythons are incredibly popular as exotic pets outside India.
You’ve probably seen this ‘leopard-print’ snake dangling from tourists’ necks in Thailand’s adventure parks. You’d be amazed that Ball Pythons are quite docile and friendly. They are easy to handle and form emotional bonds with their human parents.
Ball Pythons typically live up to 30 years. Although feeding them live mice every day might be challenging for new pet parents, they make awesome scaly buddies.
You’d like to know that some Indians have managed to own Ball Pythons as pets, but the process of acquiring them and getting legal permits is nearly impossible!
Most amazing feature is: They can suddenly disappear (by developing the exact same colour as their background!)
We’ve read about them in storybooks and watched them change colours in TV cartoons. As fascinating as their blending and colour-changing abilities sound, Chameleons are not legal pets in India!
These pretty lizards are quite common as pets abroad. Although, they are not recommended for beginners. Chameleons have specific habitat requirements that only an experienced helper can accomplish on a daily basis.
Moreover, Chameleons are considered a bad omen in our country. Your mom would be concerned if you spot one outside; it’d already be difficult to get one home! Well, if you ever decide to live in a foreign land, carry your pet chameleon with pride and with no doubts about luck!
#3 Box Turtle
Most amazing feature: They have a fascinating high-domed shell that closes like a box when the turtle hides inside it!
Trending on Tik Tok as well as Instagram reels, these adorable little turtles love to roam in the grass and catch their own prey. Americans love having pets that add a Galapagos touch to their backyard!
Box Turtles are widely recommended for beginners because of their friendly temperament. However, they aren’t big fans of being touched or fondled. If you ever decide to hold one when you’re visiting a friend abroad, beware of teeny tiny bites, solely in self-defence!
And please remember to wash your hands! Turtles are discouraged as pets because they can carry salmonella and make humans quite sick.
#4 Crested Gecko
Most amazing feature: They are beautiful light-brown lizards with huge eyes and large eyelashes!
Crested Geckos are the most commonly loved reptile pets across the world! They are easy to care for, friendly in temperament, and perfect for new reptile parents. Their most distinctive feature is the eyelash-like crest that lines their eyes and continues to run along their back.
Unlike other reptile pets, cresties have minimal needs when it comes to enclosure or dietary habits. They live up to 20 years and can make excellent long-term companions.
However, be wary of handling them too much. Big scares can make them give off their tail. Crested Geckos cannot grow their tail back like other lizards. Leopard Gecko, White Lined Gecko, and Tokay Gecko are some of the most popular species.
#5 Blue Tongue Skink
Most amazing feature: Their fabulous blue tongue!
Blue Tongue Skinks are immensely popular as pets because of their docile, tameable nature, minimal requirements, and intelligence! They have flattened bodies and are often confused for snakes by novices until they notice the tiny legs.
Their slithery, streamlined body is an adaptation to their natural habitat, where they dig, burrow, and rest. This is why their vivarium (indoor glass enclosure for reptiles) needs specific features to ensure their utmost happiness. The initial setup may cost more than other reptiles.
These phenomenal lizards feed on live insects. That doesn’t sit right with most Indian cultures, so your mom probably wouldn’t allow it anyway!
#6 Bearded Dragon
Most amazing feature: These majestic lizards have a circle of spines around their neck that looks like a spiny beard!
Bearded dragons are cool by nature and quite okay with being handled. They make amazing reptile buddies, even for children. However, they are quite high-maintenance! What else might be expected of a dragon? Lack of specific temperature and habitat conditions in their vivarium can make them produce obnoxious smells.
This is why they are only recommended to experienced reptile parents who know what they’re doing. Just like mythological dragons, the circle of spines around their throat flares when they get aggressive. But these gentle lizards rarely get angry. Don’t worry; they don’t exhale fire either!
#7 Indian Star Tortoise
Most amazing feature: This tortoise has star-shaped patterns on its shell!
Unlike most tortoises, these gentle giants are calm and never get territorial. Their role as pets in America is largely discouraged because they are endangered in the wild. But their popularity and talks about their docile temperament only seem to be rising.
If kept as pets, Indian Star Tortoises need immense care and special habitat requirements to thrive.
Guest authors are responsible for their opinions.