The adoption demand for cats and dogs has risen during the coronavirus pandemic, but aside from the domestic animals, a number of people have turned to other animals for companionship.

According to Pets4Homes, nearly 20,000 parrots were rehomed last year amid the pandemic, which was a 79% increase from 2019. Aside from the birds, chickens, stick insects and salamanders were also among those that have been adopted.

People who adopted ferrets and tarantulas also said they feel comforted taking care of their animal companions. Jenna McBriarty and her partner now have a family of ferret in their home. n

“We had to spend a lot of time with her individually to build her trust. It took a lot of bitten fingers but she’s a complete success story,” McBriarty said. “If it hadn’t been for the pandemic I don’t know if we would have seriously considered getting them.”

Romy Miller, a barista, also found comfort with her axolotl, Pluto. “They’re the most incredible amphibians,” Miller told The Guardian in an interview. “That’s kind of a bright side of lockdown, I guess – more time to appreciate what you love more often, friends, family, pets.”

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