Socks_the_Cat_Explores

There has been a surprising amount of pets that roamed the halls of the United State’s most important residence, some stranger than others. Here are the weirdest animals that ever called the White House their home.

Buchanan’s Bald Eagles

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The bachelor president James Buchanan had many pets during his time in the White House, but the most extreme were definitely the pair of bald eagles he kept. Others included a tiny terrier and a giant Newfoundland.

A Gang of Alligators

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A gift from Marquis de Lafayette, John Quincy Adams kept his alligator in a bath tub in the White house. The President would bring his disbelieving guests to the bathroom in the East Wing bathroom to see the exotic creature. Even more bizarre, this is not the only time alligators kept up residence in the White House. In the 1930s, Herbert Hoover’s son had two pet alligators.

Van Buren’s Tiger cubs

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A gift from the Sultan of Oman, two tiger cubs were briefly kept at the White House before Congress ordered Martin Van Buren send them to a zoo.

Thomas Jefferson’s Bear Cubs

USFWS
USFWS

Thomas Jefferson was given two bear cubs by Captain Zebulon Pike, who wrote to Jefferson that the bears were considered to be the most dangerous on the continent. Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter that they were too much trouble to keep, so he sent them to a museum. However, they spent two months on the front lawn of the white house before they were shipped away.

Calvin Coolidge’s Pygmy Hippo

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Eric Kilby/Flickr

Billy the pygmy hippo was given to Calvin Coolidge as a gift from Samuel Firestone. The Liberia native was soon donated the the Natioanl Zoo.