Find your new (wild) best friend.
A team of animal welfare experts from Wageningen University in the Netherlands suggests animal lovers might want to consider a range of wild species outside the realm of dogs and cats when searching for a domesticated pet.
In an effort to evaluate a number of animals, from domestic to wild, on their suitability as pets, researchers developed a framework and subsequent criteria to rate 90 different species on their biology, needs, danger to humans and well-being when kept in captivity. The framework was curated by outsourcing expert knowledge and information from a number of encyclopedias to identify the short phrases that best describe each animal.
If you’re in search of man’s best friend among these, the Sika deer is the furry friend you want. Following closely behind are the Agile wallaby, Tammar wallaby, llama and the Asian palm civet.
Bonus points if you’re familiar with more than two of these all-star mammals. Ultimately, the researchers are hopeful this newfound framework will be used to better understand the implications of keeping wild animals in captivity. Check out the entire list of top 25 furry best friends below.
Correction 11/1/2017: This story previously suggested household dogs and cats were included in the rankings when they were not part of the study. The post has been updated to reflect this.