Exotic Pets – National Geographic



Young Collectors, Traders Help Fuel a Boom in Ultra-Exotic Pets In China venomous snakes, rare crocs, and even sharks give young adults a way to stand out. But it comes with a cost.


Huang Jia Chen started off with lizards and turtles in junior high. Then in high school he got his first snake.

“First it was just a hobby,” he says. “Then I started to keep more and more. When there were lots, I started to breed them.”

It wasn’t long before he was selling them. Now he has an entire room in his Beijing apartment filled from floor to ceiling with glass terrariums holding snakes. “Reptiles are very fashionable as pets,” he says.

From venomous snakes, ultra-rare tortoises, and baby saltwater crocs that will eventually grow to 15 feet long to monkeys, raptors, and even sharks, exotic pets are popular in China, especially among those in their 20s and 30s.

Browse more images from this story