#3. Jim's Indoor Pet Buffalo
A buffalo and a farmer walk into a bar. That's it. There's no punchline. That's just what happens every now and then in Spruce Grove, Canada, where Jim Sautner and his 1,600-pound pet buffalo "Bailey D. Buffalo Jr." hit the pub for the sauce. Most cars can't accommodate this walking Flintstones joke, but Sautner fixed his sedan up right good:
And it's not like Sautner saunters over to the field to pick up his buffalo on the way out the door ... the beast lives with him and his wife. He's a pet. The largest domesticated pet in the world, unless someone's holding back on their orca bowl.
Not pictured: All the poop.
And this isn't even Sautner's first pet buffalo. His first one (Bailey Sr.) died in a freak farm machine accident, and Sautner adopted orphaned Bailey Jr. (no relation) as his bison rebound. So you can kind of think of the two as Annie and Daddy Warbucks, if Annie weighed as much as a car and Daddy Warbucks' first kid got eaten by a combine.
#2. The Hyena Masters
For most of us, a nightly routine is just about brushing our teeth, putting on our jam-jams and checking for lumps before hitting the hay. For Youseff Mume Saleh, his nightly routine is all of those things, plus one more: Feeding a pack of wild hyenas, sometimes by dangling meat from his teeth. Here's Scar and his minions right before they killed Mufasa:
Ethio Quest News
"I can see no way for this plan to backfire."
So, what would possess an otherwise sane person to risk his life in service to the wildest, meanest cat-dogs in the world? It turns out Saleh's town in Ethiopia has a long history with hyenas, beginning two hundred years ago when the villagers began feeding porridge to the animals to keep them from people-eating. And in the 1960s, a Harar farmer began feeding the local hyenas scraps of meat in an attempt to stop the packs from murdering his livestock, and the first "Hyena Man" was born.
The arrangement works so well that in Harar, there are actually two hyena men, each one feeding a different pack at a different location. We can only hope the two don't meet in the town square to settle their rivalry "Beat It" style.
Or, more realistically, Weird Al's "Eat It" style.
Our favorite hyena man (Saleh) is so confident of his relationship with the animals that he'll shoo some of the more aggressive hyenas away so the shyer members of the pack can get their fair share. He's become somewhat famous for it (even before we wrote about him) and, hell, people have gotten famous for less:
#1. Tonie Joubert and Jessica the Hippo
Cracked has already spent plenty of words, space and sweat warning the masses of the dangers of hippos. So we almost feel like we're being especially reckless on this next entry. OH WELL.
Forget everything we've ever told you about hippos and go buy one right now, is what we're saying.
People who actually live around hippos are frightfully aware of how dangerous they are. But when South African game warden Tonie Joubert found an orphaned, day-old hippo-cute-omus still attached to its umbilical cord, he did what any reasonable person would do: He nursed her to health, adopted her and named her "Jessica."
Hub Pages, Annalene
Because "Susan" would have just been ridiculous.
Eventually, Jessica reached a size where keeping her in the house became about as problematic as keeping an adult hippo in your house, especially since she had already broken three beds, and the family moved their baby to the front porch. At this point, the Jouberts have earned the distinction of having raised the only known domesticated hippopotamus in history. We can't say we're proud of them, though, since they're raising their fat daughter on a diet of coffee, sweet potatoes and a Veruca Salt level of indulgence.
Wait, is that beer? She sure as hell better not be driving later.
For animals you shouldn't try to domesticate, check out 6 Animals That Just Don't Give A F#@k and 5 Lovable Animals You Didn't Know Are Secretly Terrifying.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see how Swaim's doing with his pet gorilla.
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