These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets

Larry Holzwarth - March 26, 2019

In any list of exotic pets (which can be found online and in print), there are tales of questionable veracity. Some are repetitions of unproven stories, some are provably false, and in other cases, the tales are true. Exotic pets – some would substitute the word strange – have long been enjoyed by people of all walks of life, and the famous have entered history as entertaining examples of their eccentricities. There is no question that some people have kept dangerous wild animals as pets, and some of the tales surrounding them have been exaggerated out of proportion over the years. An example of one such tale is the often repeated story of Thomas Jefferson keeping pet grizzly bears at his home at Monticello.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
The story of Jefferson keeping grizzly bears as pets at Monticello is not strictly true. Library of Congress

On the face of it, the tale contains a smattering of truth. Jefferson did receive a pair of grizzly cubs as a gift from Zebulon Pike in 1807. The former president knew well of the ferocity of the American grizzly from the reports of Lewis and Clark. Jefferson immediately made arrangements to transfer the bears to Charles Wilson Peale’s museum in Philadelphia. Jefferson received the bears from Pike in October 1807; by January 1808 they were in Peale’s possession. Thus the story of Jefferson keeping grizzly bears as pets at Monticello is, at best, only partially true, though all too often repeated and embellished. Here are some stories of exotic pets in history and whether their assertions are supported by historical facts.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon, is often said to have kept a pet orangutan. Wikimedia

1. Empress Josephine and her pet orangutan

Although there are varying versions of the tale, the gist of it is that Empress Josephine had a pet orangutan, which she dressed in children’s clothes. Her name was Rose, and she sat at the table with Napoleon and Josephine, as well as slept in their bed – about which the Emperor complained. In truth, Josephine was called Rose by intimates (it was her birth name), and Napoleon did complain about a pet sharing their bed, but it was a pug dog. Several of Napoleon’s contemporaries left records of the Emperor’s feelings regarding his wife’s several dogs, as well as her penchant for excessive spending on exotic animals to roam the gardens of their home, Malmaison.

Numerous exotic animals roamed the gardens of Malmaison, among one of the greatest rose gardens in the world then and now. But the story of Josephine’s pet orangutan has little factual support. Napoleon was often referred to in British propaganda as a gorilla, an ape, and in other denigrating terms. It is likely the story arose out of the false accusations directed towards the Emperor, with the Empress taking an orangutan into her bed. Several of the exotic animals which were present at Malmaison were later donated to Parisian zoos and museums, and at least one orangutan was credited as being among them, but from the staff of servants and aides which crowded the Emperor’s house, which numbered in the hundreds, nothing exists to verify the tale of Empress Josephine’s strange treatment of an orangutan, or Napoleon’s tolerance of it.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
The story of Lafayette giving John Quincy Adams an alligator has no basis in truth, despite its widespread prevalence. Wikimedia

2. The alligator in the East Room of the White House

This one, too, has several versions. In one, the alligator is a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette to John Quincy Adams. Another has an alligator given to Lafayette as a gift which was temporarily kept at the White House. But the general agreement among those relating the tale is that an alligator was kept as a pet in the East Room. None of the records of Lafayette’s 1824-25 American tour report the gift of an alligator. Nor do any records contemporaneous with the Quincy Adams administration, from either his friends or enemies, tell of the presence of an alligator in the White House, let alone the president’s amusement when it startled visitors. Yet the story is pervasive on social media, websites, in print, and in videos.

The story first appeared in 1888, when it was reported that Lafayette had stored curiosities he was given on his more than year-long tour of the United States in the East Room as he completed his tour. But neither Lafayette nor his aide who cataloged the many gifts reported the receipt of alligators (Lafayette’s journal does record seeing them on his tour). John Quincy Adams’s extensive diaries and journals do not mention an alligator either as a gift from or for Lafayette. Like his father, John Quincy Adams had a raft of political enemies, and they would have found a way to use the story politically had it been known then. Though it continues to spread, the story of John Quincy Adams keeping a pet alligator is most likely false.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Mrs. Coolidge with Rebecca, the raccoon which she kept as a pet while First Lady. Library of Congress

3. Grace Coolidge kept a pet raccoon which had been intended to be served for dinner

In 1926, a raccoon was delivered to the White House from Mississippi to be presented to the President and his guests as part of Thanksgiving Dinner. Being from Vermont, the Coolidge family was more inclined to consume a traditional New England Thanksgiving meal, and the raccoon was destined for release before the First Lady intervened. An animal lover with a menagerie of pets, Grace Coolidge decided that the raccoon would join her collection. She named the female raccoon Rebecca. The President decided that the animal would live outside of the house, and a home was built for her in a tree on the grounds, protected with a chicken wire fence.

When the Coolidge family vacationed, Rebecca accompanied them. The White House police captured a male raccoon to keep Rebecca company, which Grace named Reuben. Reuben either didn’t like Rebecca or the White House diet (mostly shrimp and eggs) and frequently ran off, though he was recaptured several times. Eventually, he made good his escape. Rebecca remained at the White House until the end of the Coolidge Administration when she was allowed to retire to Rock Creek Park rather than accompany her previous masters to Vermont. Other animals of Mrs. Coolidge’s menagerie, including a pygmy hippo, were donated to the National Zoo.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Josephine Baker in her banana skirt costume for the Folies-Bergeres in Paris, 1927. Wikimedia

4. Josephine Baker kept a cheetah as a pet, with sometimes entertaining consequences

Another Josephine associated with France was the American-born singer, dancer, actress, and member of the French resistance during the Second World War, Josephine Baker. Largely a burlesque performer before World War II she became world famous for her exploits during the war and in its aftermath a much more serious performer. Her life was frequently made more difficult through controversies she created with her outspoken views on civil rights and communism. She performed in Castro’s Havana at a celebration of his revolution in 1966, earning public disapproval in the United States. For most of her post-war career, she was based in France, her adopted home.

While living and performing in Paris before the war, the dancer who appeared nearly nude in exotic costumes supplemented her act with her exotic pet, a cheetah named Chiquita. Chiquita was bestowed a diamond-studded collar by her mistress, and the two were often seen on the streets of Paris, with Josephine giving her pet its exercise on a leash. As part of her act, Chiquita was often allowed to slip its collar and plunge into the orchestra pit, creating a mad scramble as the startled musicians attempted to evade the onrushing cat, difficult with cheetahs being the fastest land animal on earth. The animal’s escape added to the unreal atmosphere of her show.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
A lobster would not seem to be an ideal walking companion, but for an esteemed French writer one was. Wikimedia

5. Gerard de Nerval kept a crustacean as a pet and walking companion

Gerard de Nerval, who likely needs some introduction to American readers, was the pen name of French writer and poet Gerard Labrunie. Nerval wrote for newspapers, published novels and novellas, translated influential German works into French, which helped introduced German Romantic writers to the French audience, and published poetry. He also suffered from periodic bouts of deep depression and mental illness, which eventually led to his death by suicide when he hanged himself in a Paris alleyway in January 1855. He was cited as influential by Marcel Proust and Charles Baudelaire. Much of his work was in the form of travelogue, describing his emotions as he journeyed through other countries.

Nerval kept, as his pet, a lobster. The crustacean was named Thibault. He attached the live lobster to a blue silk ribbon for their walks about the streets of Paris. Theophile Gautier, a fellow writer and admirer of Nerval, once questioned him on his choice of pet, to which Nerval replied, “Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog?” Nerval explained that he had a liking for lobsters, since they “…are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea.” Nerval also pointed out that the German writer of Faust (which Nerval had translated), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, had “an aversion to dogs, and he wasn’t mad.”

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Salvador Dali and his pet ocelot, who he often passed off as a painted house cat. Wikimedia

6. Salvador Dali kept an ocelot as a pet, and possibly an anteater at one time

To say that Salvador Dali was eccentric would be to utter an understatement of immeasurable proportions. The word Daliesque was coined to define the surreal. So it should be no surprise to learn that he carried his eccentricities with him when choosing his pets. Dali was once photographed emerging from the Paris subway system walking an anteater on a leash, after an employee of the Paris Metro informed him that he was not allowed to transport the creature on a train. In the photograph Dali is looking straight into the camera, indicating that the incident may have been staged, which like his eccentric behavior would not have been out of character.

Another pet that Dali favored was an ocelot. The artist had numerous cats over the years, but his favorite feline was an ocelot which he named Babou, and which he took with him wherever he chose. Once in a restaurant, he noticed another patron eyeing the cat somewhat nervously, and Dali informed the diner that the animal was a housecat on which he had painted a design which was, well, Daliesque. At an art gallery, at which Dali allowed the cat to roam freely, an outraged proprietor informed Dali that Babou had “made a nuisance” on some etchings, nuisance being a euphemism for the animal relieving itself. Dali loftily told the proprietor that any “nuisance” made by a Dali would increase the value of the etchings.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
A portrait of the child who became known as Peter the Wild Boy after he was found by King George I of England. Wikimedia

7. The King of England once kept a human being as a pet, or so some claim

In 1725 a wild boy was discovered in the Hanoverian woods by a hunting party led by King George I. The boy could not speak, moved about only by crawling on hands and knees, and had survived by eating woodland vegetation. The Princess of Wales, the King’s daughter-in-law, ordered the child sent to England, where he stayed for a time at Kensington Palace. For the next several months he was a national sensation, the subject of essays by Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe (Swift’s was particularly scathing) and efforts were made to teach the boy to speak, read, and write. All failed. An early proponent of evolution, James Burnett, later cited the boy as an example of the process from nature.

While often reported that George I kept Peter as a pet, such tales are exaggerations. By 1726 he was in the care of Dr. Arbuthnot, under the direction of Catherine, Princess of Wales. He was later sent to various caretakers, each time with a pension to offset the cost of his care. Peter lived in the care of different supporters for the rest of his life, never learning to speak beyond the words “King George” and “Peter”. James Burnett reported that he could hum what appeared to be music, but the tune was unrecognized. Peter died in 1785 – during the reign of George III – at an estimated age of about 70, and was buried at St. Mary’s Church in Northchurch.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Lord Byron kept a bear as a pet when school authorities would not allow him to keep his dog with him at Trinity College. Wikimedia

8. The poet Lord Byron kept a tame bear for a pet while in college

Byron kept numerous pets during his short life (he died at 36) including a Newfoundland dog which died from rabies, and for which he built a mausoleum larger than his own. He also kept at one time or another peacocks, a badger, a goat, monkeys, geese, eagles, and numerous dogs and cats, all of which had the run of his homes. His lordship retained houses in four countries, and not all of the animals traveled with him when he journeyed from one to the other. It is often reported that Byron kept an Egyptian crocodile, though if so he never mentioned one in his journals, and none were reported by his contemporaries and friends.

At one time he kept a tame bear as a pet. The bear lived with the poet in his rooms while he was enrolled as a student at Trinity College. The bear was acquired as a protest against the rules of the college, which expressly forbade dogs, meaning Byron could not have his beloved Newfoundland (named Boatswain) with him during his studies. Byron pointed out that the rules said nothing whatsoever about the keeping of bears in response to the complaints of authorities and confided to his journal that, “they asked me what I meant to do with him, and my reply was, ‘he should sit for a fellowship'”, meaning he should enroll the bear in the college.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Mozart sang to a pet starling and annotated the music the bird sang back to him. Wikimedia

9. Mozart kept a starling as a pet, and composed an epitaph for it when it died

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s stature as a musical virtuoso and composer is unchallenged. His method of composing was to put on paper the music he heard in his head, often entire and complete. His manuscripts contained few corrections and even fewer copies. For three years Mozart kept a starling as a pet. Starlings are mimicking birds, able to reproduce sounds which they hear, and able to recognize individual birds by their calls. Their ability to reproduce sounds was commented on by Mozart in letters to friends and in notes in his journals. It is possible that both Mozart and his pet copied from each other, and some passages in Mozart’s work may be of more avian composition,

The starling died on June 4, 1787, and Mozart arranged a funeral for the bird, which was conducted in his Vienna garden, attended by friends who joined him in singing a requiem. Mozart also read a poem which he wrote as an epitaph, which ran for 22 lines and which was both humorous and an expression of loss following the death of his bird. There is no record of his buying another to replace his companion, though one account of his death includes a passage describing the dying composer requesting his canary be removed to another room as he,” could no longer bear the sound of its singing”. In his notes, Mozart annotated some of the starling’s songs, and musical scholars continue to compare the notes to the composer’s work.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
If only half of the tales told of Ivan the Terrible – including the use of his pet bears – are true he well deserved his name. Wikimedia

10. A Russian tsar kept Russian bears as pets

In the customary depictions of the European powers as animals, in which England is the British Lion, Russia is invariably considered to be a bear. How the Russian Bear evolved as a symbol is debatable, but one Russian Tsar, the notorious Ivan IV, known to history as Ivan the Terrible, made the bear an icon of his reign by keeping two in his Moscow palace, where he ensured that they remained underfed and thus always hungry. Ivan the Terrible was the Tsar who gave Russia another of its enduring symbols, the Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow, with its onion domes making it instantly recognizable in paintings and photographs.

Another often repeated tale that persists despite no contemporaneous sources supporting it is that Ivan’s bears, frequently referred to as his pets, were used by the Tsar to execute those who had displeased him. Prisoners were thrown into the dens where the hungry bears tore them to pieces. Others relate that Ivan, presumably to alleviate a moment of boredom, would unleash the bears on innocent passers-by, giving the Tsar a moment of amusement. Whether the Tsar in fact kept and used his pet bears in the manner described is unproven and likely unprovable, and the growing repetition of the story is steadily engraving it into consciousness.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Some call it an elk and some a moose, but Tycho Brahe’s pet died following overindulgence in beer. Wikimedia

11. Tycho Brahe’s pet moose couldn’t handle its beer

Tycho Brahe was an astronomer and autocrat who fought a drunken sword duel in the dark with his cousin and fellow student at the University of Rostock. Brahe was studying both medicine and alchemy at the time, as well as mathematics, and the argument which led to the duel was over which of the two was the superior mathematician. During the duel, which was broken up by other students, Brahe lost most of his nose, having it severed at the bridge. He had a prosthetic nose fashioned, often reported being of a mixture of gold and silver, though in 2012 researchers in Europe reported that it was made of brass, held in place by paste.

Brahe served the Danish monarchy as both an astronomer and an astrologer from his research center at Hven, where he ruled as a quasi-monarch himself, hosting the nobility of Europe at lavish gatherings. According to his own letters, he kept a tamed elk, often said to be a moose, in his lodgings. During one gathering the animal reportedly drank too much beer during dinner and had the unfortunate accident of falling down a staircase, with fatal consequences. Brahe wrote of the incident in a letter to a nobleman in Hesse-Cassel, referring to the accident occurring while the elk was visiting another gentleman at Landskrona, thereby absolving himself of responsibility.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Alfred Hitchcock with actress Tippi Hedren, who later expressed regret for taking in a pet lion. Wikimedia

12. Tippi Hedren kept lions as pets for a time

Tippi Hedren starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds, Marnie, and several other films. She is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith. In 1969 she was filming in Africa when the actress and her then-husband witnessed a pride of lions take over occupancy of an abandoned house. The incident gave them the idea for a motion picture project, which led to them adopting several lion cubs and taking them into their home in Sherman Oaks, California. The first cub, a male, was named Neil by the couple, and Tippi treated the lion as a house cat, playing with it, sleeping with it, and drawing the complaints of neighbors who protested over the presence of a dangerous animal.

Eventually, Tippi and her husband purchased a ranch on which several lions, as well as other big cats, were given sanctuary. The film project, which took over seven years to complete, was one of the most dangerous ever produced for the workers on the film. None of the animals were injured, but over seventy members of the film crew required medical attention as a result of interaction with the lions and other animals, including Tippi herself and her daughter, Melanie Griffith, who was mauled badly enough to require fifty stitches. Tippi later told the Daily Mail, “We were stupid beyond belief to have that lion in our house”.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Pope Leo X was immensely pleased with the elephant which he kept as a pet in the Vatican. Wikimedia

13. The pope’s white elephant may have been regifted to him

Pope Leo X, who was of Italy’s powerful d’ Medici family and who reputedly once said, “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it,” was a profligate spender and borrower of money. One of the ways he raised money was through the sales of indulgences, granting in essence shorter stays in purgatory in the afterlife in return for financial support in the corporal world. His Holiness’s sales of indulgences helped to finance the rebuilding of Saint Peter’s Basilica and acquired significant wealth in the art for the Vatican. He was also the last person to be elected to the papacy without having been a priest.

The pope received, as a gift, a white elephant from the King of Portugal in 1514. Whether the Portuguese King, Manuel I, had received the animal as a gift himself or had purchased it is disputed. The elephant was named Hanno and quickly became a favorite pet of the pontiff, who housed it in the Vatican in a building erected for the purpose near the Apostolic Palace. Two years after its arrival the elephant was stricken with severe constipation, and the laxatives with which Hanno was treated caused a fatal reaction. The elephant was buried in the Cortile de Belvedere, where it had frequently been paraded by the proud pontiff, basking in the adulation of his subjects.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Elvis Presley – seen here with Liberace – collected several things, including guitars, cars, gold records, and unusual pets. Wikimedia

14. Elvis Presley had several unusual pets

Elvis was an animal lover throughout his life, and as he did in all other things which interested him, he indulged himself to excess. He kept numerous dogs over the years, and they were one of the gifts he liked to bestow upon women as his fame and wealth grew. His Memphis estate, Graceland, was populated with a menagerie which included several dogs as well as chickens and pigs, monkeys and spider moneys, exotic birds such as peacocks and peahens, and a flock of geese which the singer acquired to help keep the grass trimmed around the grounds. His reaction to reptiles was less gracious, Elvis was known to shoot snakes which he encountered on the grounds.

A wallaby given to the singer as a gift resided with him for some time before Elvis donated it to a local zoo. He also had a chimpanzee which he named Scatter, and which became a drinking companion, though Scatter was less than well-behaved when in his cups. Scatter, whom Elvis dressed in suits, complete with necktie, had a fondness for pulling up women’s skirts. Scatter accompanied Elvis on some of his journeys to Hollywood as well as on tour, thoroughly disliked by the King’s entourage, but always in Presley’s good graces. There are reports that Scatter was poisoned, but others of Elvis’s Memphis Mafia speculated that the chimp died from liver disease brought on by its fondness for alcohol.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
John Barrymore had many pets on his estate, but his favorite was a vulture he later gave to a zoo. Wikimedia

15. John Barrymore had a vulture among his many pets

Actor John Barrymore was a man of prodigious talent whose career was destroyed by his prodigious thirst. He was a major star of the stage and silent film era who adapted to motion pictures with sound readily, becoming immensely wealthy by the 1930s. His estate in Hollywood Hills included more than a dozen buildings and over fifty rooms, and for entertainment was provided with a skeet shooting range, swimming pools, several gardens, fountains, and bocce courts. To share it with him, other than his several wives over time, were numerous pets which covered the property.

Barrymore had several dogs which roamed the property, as well as deer, a monkey which lived in the buildings, at least one possum, raccoons which may or may not have been welcomed guests, and his favorite pet, a vulture which he named Moloney. Following a divorce Barrymore no longer wanted to live in the home, and with no other recourse, he took his yacht to South America and left Moloney on a beach, assuming the bird would fly off. The following morning the bird was still where it had been left and Barrymore retrieved it, taking it back to the United States, where, “I gave Moloney to some zoo and for all, I know he’s still there”, he told an interviewer in 1939.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
King Alexander of Greece was bitten by a pet monkey, with devastating results. Wikimedia

16. King Alexander of Greece and the pet monkeys

Alexander of Greece was a controversial figure before serving briefly as the constitutional monarch of that country. He had the effrontery to marry a commoner in 1919, from which ensued a controversy which forced him to leave the country. Alexander was at the Tatoi estate, walking his German Shepard through the grounds when he encountered an angry monkey. Tatoi was home to numerous pets, including parrots and other birds, which flew freely outdoors, and several species of monkeys and other primates. While the King was walking a Barbary macaque either attacked the dog or was attacked by it.

The king attempted to separate the animals, and the chattering and screams of the macaque drew the attention of other monkeys, one or more of which bit the king on his legs and upper body. The monkeys were driven off by servants who heard the commotion and the king received medical attention for his wounds, but infection nonetheless set in quickly. Just over three weeks later, on October 25, 1920, King Alexander died of sepsis, which resulted from the bite of an alleged pet monkey. Alexander was buried on the grounds of the estate not far from where the monkey, or monkeys, inflicted the fatal bites.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Theodore Roosevelt’s large family brought a menagerie of pets to the White House, which grew throughout his administration. Library of Congress

17. Theodore Roosevelt had a hyena as a pet while in the White House

When Theodore Roosevelt entered the White House following the death of his predecessor, William McKinley, he brought with him a family including six children and an assortment of pets which continued to grow over time. Though a few were and are considered odd, most were of the normal variety for a family of the size and financial standing of the Roosevelts. There were lizards, chickens, a rooster (with one leg), guinea pigs, parrots, a pony named Algonquin, a pig, several dogs, and other small mammals. There were also a barn owl, which lived on the grounds of the White House, a badger which the children had named Josiah, which were later joined by a hyena.

There have been over its history many strange selections of animals as pets kept in the White House, though probably none as strange as a hyena, which was named Bill and which was a gift to the president from the Emperor of Ethiopia, Menelik II. Roosevelt, however, did not entertain a high opinion of hyenas in general, considering them to be little more than cowardly scavengers. Over the protests of his children, who liked to feed the animal scraps from the presidential table, Roosevelt sent Bill to the National Zoo shortly after its arrival.

These 18 Icons Kept Atypical Animals as Pets
Larry, Chief Mouser of the Cabinet Office, a long-standing position within the government of the United Kingdom. Wikimedia

18. The Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office

Even those who express little fondness for cats acknowledge that keeping them as household pets is not strange. Employing one, however, could probably be considered a little odd. Since 1929 (the earliest year for which records have been released) the Office Keeper of 10 Downing Street has been authorized to draw funds from petty cash “towards the maintenance of an efficient cat”. Known to the public and the press as Chief Mouser, cats have been used for the purpose of rodent control at the heart of the British government since the reign of Henry VIII, though there have been many periods where the office has been unfilled by as resident feline.

Other branches of the British government have kept cats for the purpose of rodent control, including the Post Office, where over time the rate of their compensation has been debated in the House of Commons, as recently as 1953. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office employed a cat by the name of Palmerston in April 2016, and the press reported the cat’s first success at catching a mouse the following month. The cats employed by the British government are compensated at a rate established by law, and the most recent estimate of the amount spent annually to retain their services is approximately one hundred pounds per cat per year. In the United States, the use of professional exterminators is preferred.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Grizzly Bears”. Article, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Online

“Josephine, the Empress and her Children”. Nina Epton. 1975

“Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: Journal of a Voyage to the United States”. Auguste Reid Levasseur. 2007

“Grace Coolidge: An Autobiography”. Grace Coolidge; edited by Robert H. Ferrell, Lawrence E. Wikander. 1993

“Josephine: The Hungry Heart”. Jean-Claude Baker. 1993

“Nerval: A Man and his Lobster”. Scott Hortin, Harper’s Magazine. October 2008

“The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali”. Ian Gibson. 1998

“Who was Peter the Wild Boy?” Megan Lane, BBC News Magazine. August 8, 2011

“Mozart’s Starling”. Meredith J. West and Andrew King, American Scientist. March/April 1990

“Ivan the Terrible”. Francis Carr. 1997

“Tycho Brahe: a picture of scientific life and work in the sixteenth century”. J. L. Dreyer. 1890

“We were stupid beyond belief to have that lion in our house”. Tom Leonard, Daily Mail. October 20, 2014

“The Pope’s Elephant”. Silvio A. Bedini. 1997

“The World Crisis Volume 4: The Aftermath 1918-1928”. Winston S. Churchill. 1929

“The Roosevelt Pets”. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, National Historic Site. Online

“Larry the tabby lands No. 10 job as rat catcher”. Craig Woodhouse, London Evening Standard. February 14, 2011