5 Exotic Animals In Places They Don’t Belong

Upstate New York isn’t exactly emu country, but that doesn’t bother eel hunter Ray Turner or his pet emu Tweedy. Ray’s buddies gave him Tweedy after they found her wandering down a highway with no owner or explanation. On Sunday’s episode of Filthy Riches, Ray tries to protect his out-of-place pet from a native predator.

In honor of Tweedy the New York emu, we put together a list of some strange animals in stranger locations:

1. Susie and Bunny the Elephants

Elephants loose in Canada

Circus workers take note: the next time you trip over a cord, check to see where it was plugged in. It might be a fan, or a light or the electric fence that keeps three 8,000-pound elephants in. In 2007, Canada’s Garden Bros. Circus lost track of two elephants after their electric fence became unplugged overnight.

Under the cover of darkness, two of the three elephants decided to do some exploring. Before anyone noticed that they were gone, they wandered away from the Garden Bros. compound, crossing streets, sampling townspeoples’ lilies and leaving a trail of destruction and digestion on lawns across town. Luckily, the two elephants were quickly retrieved and went peacefully back to the circus. It turns out, this kind of thing happens all the time.

2. Darwin the Ikea Monkey

Darwin, the Ikea Monkey

In December 2012, a tiny rheusus monkey in a shearling coat was captured strolling unattended in a Toronto Ikea, and the internet was forever changed. Darwin the Ikea Monkey became an instant meme and media sensation, driving the Internet to ask: Where was Darwin’s owner? How does a monkey escape from a car? Do monkey clothing lines exist? Sadly, our questions would go unanswered. Rheusus monkeys are forbidden pets in Toronto, so Darwin was picked up by animal control and given a new, more legal home at an Ontario animal sanctuary.

3. Cocoa the New York Pizza Goat

Goat in New York

You don’t need a reservation to eat at Famous Famiglia’s pizza in Manhattan, which was probably a good thing for Cocoa, who’s a full-sized goat. In 2012, Cocoa was spotted grabbing a semi-late night slice in midtown with a few unfazed human companions. The internet got to work fast, uncovering Cocoa’s metropolitan past: previous trips to New York included an appearance on Good Morning America, an evening in Times Square and a disheartening rejection from Madison Square Garden, where security refused to let Cocoa in because she was distracting the people behind the security cameras from doing their jobs.

4. Chippy the Sea Lion

Chippy the Sea Lion

The life of a California Sea Lion can be exciting. They eat squid, fish and clams. They lay on the beach for long periods of time. And sometimes, they journey 70 miles from their natural habitat to see a new part of the state. In 2004, a 350-pound sea lion named Chippy was found laying on top of a highway patrol cruiser near Los Banos, Ca. Chippy swam up the San Joaquin river and into farm country, hopping out of the river and settling on the back of the squad car for maximum elevation and warmth.

5. Nikica the Hippo

Hippo in a village

When Nikica the hippopotomous’ zoo habitat in Montenegro was hit with massive floods, she seized the moment to escape. Nikica lived in a private zoo before heavy rains flooded the grounds, raising the water level in her pen enough for her to swim over the top. Then, the two-ton hippo strolled around a nearby village, surprising local residents, hanging out with cows and eventually settling down in a local swimming pool.

Hippos are notoriously dangerous animals, but Nikica’s zookeeper assured the town that the loose beast was friendly and peaceful. Officials debated having Nikica put down, fearing that she would harm local citizens, but after over a week on the loose, Nikica returned to her pen safely.

For more wildness, catch the next episode of Filthy Riches this Sunday at 10P.