1891-1971: Wild Pets

Beatrix Potter, aged 25, with rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer, 1891

Pet Beaver, 1940

Frida Kahlo with Granizo by Nickolas Muray, 1939

Explorer Osa Johnson and her pet cheetah, Bong, 1949

John Barrymore With Pet Monkey

Audrey Hepburn and her pet deer

Burlesque dancer Zorita walking her snake, 1950s

Rupert the Rhino, 1960

Salvador Dali and pet Ocelot

Stromberg's Exotic Pets catalogue

Stromberg's Exotic Pets catalogue

Via: Invisible LinesReal Life is Elsewhere; The Passsion of Former Days; Buzz Feed

26 Responses

  1. Philip

    I’m pretty sure that kangaroo is going downstairs, not going up them?

    Nice set, but such a shame to see so many magnificent animals kept in urban environments.

    Reply
  2. Tonya

    Fascinating and disturbing at the same time. Really highlights human arrogance over wildlife! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  3. Doubleclick

    Grim fact about Beatrix Potter: she killed her pets and other animals in order to pose them for the illustrations in her books. This was the fate of Peter Rabbit, who really was a rabbit Beatrix had named Peter – realising she needed a rabbit for her story, he was killed and boiled to become a reference model. Squirrel Nutkin was a squirrel she shot while on a morning walk with her children (and who goes walking with a gun with their kids?). Jeremy Fisher was a wild bullfrog, which Ms. Potter chloroformed and sliced open to study its anatomy.

    Reply
  4. Doubleclick

    ^ Actually I might have misremembered the detail of being with her children at the time – I’ve other got something else mixed up, or she was walking with children but they weren’t her own. Anyway, she definitely did shoot Squirrel Nutkin out of a tree while on a morning walk, which is either badass or kind of terrifying, depending on your perspective.

    Reply
  5. tanya

    yes martin is right, kangaroos power is in their tail. Can’t beleive so many people had wild animals in their homes. What became of these animals??

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  6. Vladimir

    This is so narrow-minded to keep wildlife animals in captivity. It’s cruel. Look, for example, for a woman who walks the snake, for snake it’s realy torturing to be walked out like her owner does it. People are keeping big dogs in small apartaments and i’m can’t understand their mind and logic. But when i see wild animals in these pictures, i’m angry and sad.

    Reply
  7. noribori

    @martin:
    You have to consider the stairs are located down under.

    BTW, where’s Clooney?

    Reply
  8. snappernow

    The Photo: “A man walks his pet dog and pet boar, US, 1955″ – can’t be the US – car is foreign, license plate is foreign – and the topper: 2 people in the photo are wearing berets!
    People were crazy in the past (as they are today) – poor animals.

    Reply
  9. Calliope

    I have read the collected letters of Beatrix Potter, and saw no references to her killing, boiling or stuffing her pets. She was a farmer though, and lived in the country with lots of wild creatures readily observable on walks. (Wasn’t Squirrel Nutkin an American red squirrell? potter lived in England.) Killing animals for food was not an ethical problem for her. Where did you read about her killing her pets?
    I’d be interested to see a source for that, or maybe it is a rumour intended to besmirch her name?

    Reply
  10. finette

    The unidentified Parisian woman with a cheetah (not Josephine Baker) was in the recent “Parisians, 1963″ post, but here it says 1932. I think this date is probably more accurate, but in any case one of them must be wrong.

    I was certain there was something on Snopes.com about the Beatrix Potter stories, but didn’t find it with a cursory look.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Chris
      Chris

      Hi Finette – yes, we put it the picture in the 1963 capsule by mistake. We’ve taken it out now.

      Reply
  11. RadialSkid

    Pet raccoons are actually an old tradition in parts of the rural U.S….I myself kept a raccoon as a pet growing up. Very cute, very playful animals, but messy.

    As for the politically correct, spoilsport comments about “cruelty,” keep in mind that the ONLY reason we have domesticated animals today is because wild animals were tamed and kept as pets by our ancestors.

    Reply
  12. dasfledermaus

    “the man eats breakfast w/ his pet chimpanzee, US 1971″, he was not mauled by this chimp…it was another chimp. He and his wife were visiting their former pet at a wildlife refugee, when he was attacked by another male chimp who had escaped his enclosure. He was seriously mauled and lost a number of body parts. They were visiting “Moe” on his birthday with a cake.

    Reply
  13. Georges

    “A man walks his pet dog and pet boar, ¿US?, 1955″. This picture was not taken in the US but in France. Have a look on the store, in the background, and read the words printed on the awning.

    Reply
  14. Anna

    I didn’t see this until now, but a couple of the images and captions come from my blog (The Passion of Former Days), so I can speak for those! Thanks to those who pointed out discrepancies with the cafe cheetah lady and boar man– both are from the LIFE photo archives and I’ve taken the dates and places from there… but, clearly, both are inaccurate.

    This is the cheetah cafe lady image– http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=1d4716958a07e998 — it’s captioned 1932, but grouped with the rest of Eisenstaedts 1963 Parisians photos, so I’m pretty sure that’s a typo. So to Chris– I think it can go back in the Parisians post (I haven’t looked at it but I featured the collection of images as well), it’s this caption that needs fixing!

    This is the image of the boar man: http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=89368d3bcbd0cc7b . It’s part of a set of this man and his pet boar (see them cuddle: http://images.google.com/hosted/life/38f80f02a36c3a63.html), which are all captioned as the US but again, clearly aren’t. There are millions of images in the LIFE photo archives and sometimes images are mislabeled– I try to catch them but sometimes I’m not thinking, and it’s always great when readers catch that! I’ll be fixing those captions in my blog as well.

    Very interesting to see even more images of people and their strange pets! I do feel sad for the wild animals but it is interesting to see.

    Reply
  15. lino bonnichi

    well i like the lion and leopard .. she’s very nice for me and for all italians … but the best pictures here are women with snake is very funny..

    Reply
  16. Indra

    I dont agree with having exotic animals as pets and i think its a bad example for people, but im also sure that the owners weren’t other than loving and careful with them.

    Reply

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