You might have gasped at the price of a purebred puppy the first time you went shopping for a new friend, but that hefty price tag is changed in comparison to some of the other expensive animals in the world.
So, here are some of the most expensive animal ever sold, and why they commanded such a hefty price tag:
1. The Green Monkey
No, The Green Monkey isn’t some exotic lemur brought in from the jungle, he’s actually a thoroughbred who sold as a two-year-old for a whopping $16,000,000. Unfortunately, despite his hefty price tag and excellent lineage, he was a disappointment as a racehorse and failed to break his maiden.
Although The Green Monkey sold for an incredible amount of money, he is a long way away from being the costliest horse in history. Fusaichi Pegasus, a thoroughbred that won the Kentucky Derby in 2000, sold for $70,000,000.
2. Hyacinth Macaw
The hyacinth macaw or hyacinthine macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. It has a very strong beak for eating their natural foods, which include the kernel of hard nuts and seeds. Habitat loss and the trapping of wild birds for the pet trade have taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, so the species is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
3. Hong Dong Dog
Most purebred dogs claim price tags are running from $800 to $2,000. These price tags are enough to scare away many potential buyers, but it’s nothing on the price of a beautiful red Tibetan Mastiff named Hong Dong. His coloration, size, and conformation make him what is largely considered a perfect example of the breed. He sold at 11 months old for a staggering $1,500,000 and is to this day the most expensive animal in the world.
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4. Palm Cockatoo
The palm cockatoo, also known as the goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, is a large smoky-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family native to New Guinea, Aru Islands, and the Cape York Peninsula. It has a very large black beak and prominent red cheek patches. Each palm cockatoo is worth a minimum of $16,000.
5. Deveronvale Perfection
As surprising as it may seem to those, not in the know, sheep are big business. Texel sheep, in particular, are highly sought after for their high-quality genetics, and excellent meat production. One such sheep, a Texel tup (uncastrated male) sold for £231,000. Unlike some of the other animals on this list, Deveronvale Perfection didn’t go on to be a disappointment. He has sired over 1,000 other sheep, and his offspring sometimes fetch over £11,000 themselves.
6. Gold Missy
When we think of the expensive animal, we don’t typically think of cows topping the list. Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy, or “Missy” for short, is an exception to that rule. Her perfect pedigree, incredible conformation, and unique milk-producing abilities (nearly half again what a normal cow can produce) earned her a $1,200,000 price tag. As staggering as that price tag is, her offspring may well be worth much more than that, making her a precious cow.
7. Bolt pigeon
When we think of pigeons, we typically think of what they can do to our cars when we park under a shady tree. We seldom think of the super fast racing pigeons popular in countries such as China. When an unlucky breeder developed a virus and was forced to sell his stock, one of his prize birds fetched $400,000.
8. Sir Lancelot Encore
What do you do when your old dog dies, and you just can’t face the rest of your life without him? Clone him, of course. Sir Lancelot Encore is the very first cloned dog. His owners, Edgar and Nina Otto, paid $155,000 for the service, when their original dog, Sir Lancelot, died. Surely, this makes him one of the most expensive animal in the world.
Despite the great expense, the couple is very pleased with Sir Lancelot Encore and even reports that the puppy does many of the same things his predecessor used to do.
9. White Lion Cubs
A white lion cub can go for as much as $144,000. These lion cubs are incredibly rare because the white coloration is a recessive trait. Despite this, white lions can survive, hunt, and breed in the wild without any apparent handicap due to their color. They are, however, tough to get hold of. The only way to procure a white lion cub is through select breeders who are willing to sell outside of zoos, and that means a hefty price tag. This also makes white lion cub most expensive animal in the world.
10. Stag Beetle
From cute puppies and livestock with a real function, beetles may seem like a shocking change of pace to our list. Stag Beetles are highly sought after in some parts of the world, and considered collector’s items. In Japan, they are particularly popular, and males are even battled against each other similar to cockfighting.
One particular stag beetle, known for being particularly long, sold for $89,000. That’s a lot of money for a pet that may well be dead before winter. Stag Beetles live for 3-7 years underground as larvae, but their adult lives are extremely short.
While CC’s price tag was considerably more modest than Sir Lancelot Encore’s at just $40,000, CC and Lancelot have quite a lot in common. CC—short for Carbon Copy—is also a cloned animal. CC’s major difference is that she is the first household pet ever to be cloned.
Unlike Sir Lancelot however, CC and her predecessor, Rainbow, are completely different. While Rainbow was fat, CC is thin. Their personalities are also completely different. Rainbow was a very serious cat, and CC is more playful and engaged. It goes to show that there is still very much we don’t know about cloning or genetics in general, and just how much we can expect from a pet that is genetically the same.
While there are plenty of other animals that have expensive price tags, such as toucans and macaws which can go for over 10k, their price tags are relatively modest in comparison to these other costly animals. When you compare the costs of these animals to those of a dog or cat from the animal shelter—seldom more than $400—we can all be grateful that most pets fall within this affordable range instead of thousands or even millions of dollars.