Animal Research

Study: Sika deer, wallaby, llama and Asian palm civet could be best pets

We humans began domesticating animals at least 15,000 years ago, when somehow or another, wolves became dogs -- and eventually became, as the saying goes, man's best friend. Cats became our buddies many millenia later, and look at them now: They're pillow-warmers and YouTube stars.

But maybe we've been too narrow-minded. In a new study, Dutch scientists analyzed 90 mammal species for pet "suitability" and came up with five animals for which PetSmart probably hasn't yet stocked supplies. Those animals, starting with the best suitable, are: Sika deer, Agile wallaby, Tamar Wallaby, llama and Asian palm civet.

The researchers' work wasn't just whimsy, and it wasn't...