Rock and roll does not seem to be the only thing Elvis Presley was a king of. Elvis Presley was also the king of his own animal kingdom in Graceland. Fans of Presley know that he had always loved music, but what many do not know is that he was also a lifelong animal lover.
Although Elvis Presley had loved animals since he was a child, he was unable to afford pets. That’s why he made up for it when he became a rock and roll star. Read on to see what exotic animals Elvis Presley took care of in his home in Graceland.
1 – Great Danes
In the ‘60s, Elvis Presley gave his wife Priscilla two Great Danes. They named the dogs Snoopy and Brutus. Brutus appeared in a number of movies, such as Live A Little, Love A Little. However, he had a short life, having died shortly after the Presleys’ divorce in 1973. Snoopy, on the other hand, became Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s favorite pet dog.
Although dogs are the most popular pets all over the world, Great Danes are not the most common breed. Because of their size, Great Danes are not for everyone. They are known for their stature, with the tallest Great Dane, Zeus, being 44 inches tall and weighing 70.3 kg. Great Danes, however, are gentle giants that love to snuggle and play as much as any other dog, although you’ll need a bigger yard if you are looking to take care of one.
2 – Horses
Elvis Presley had always loved riding horses, so it was only natural that he bought horses for himself and Priscilla. They owned at least 16 horses, which were kept in a stable called the House of the Rising Sun, after the song by The Animals. Elvis absolutely loved his horses. He even had several of them appear in some of his movies.
Horses are a common pet, especially for the rich and famous. Like Elvis, you will need a stable and a piece of land for your horse. Horses are highly sociable creatures, so you will likely forge a bond with yours in no time. If you want to get a pet horse, be prepared to ride because horses are highly active creatures.
3 – Mynah Bird
Elvis Presley also had a talking Mynah bird, which he kept in their kitchen. The talking bird is said to have memorized typical phone conversations in the Presley household. At one point, much to the amusement of its owner, the Mynah bird blurted out, “Elvis isn’t here right now…Elvis is in a meeting…Elvis can’t come to the phone…Elvis is asleep…Sorry, Elvis is busy.”
Mynah birds are native to the tropics. However, they are highly adaptable, so they have no trouble living in cages. Just make sure to give your pet Mynah bird some toys and plenty of room to fly around. These birds are clever and can mimic sounds. You can teach your Mynah bird to say whatever you want. The best part? They can learn up to 100 words!
4 – Chimpanzee
Elvis bought a chimpanzee from a Memphis TV personality, Captain Bill Killbrew, in 1961. He named the chimpanzee Scatter. Scatter was dressed in human clothes, and he often hung out with Elvis and his friends. However, Scatter eventually became harder to manage. The chimpanzee was reported to have escaped Graceland, found producer Samuel Goldwyn’s office, and trashed it. He was escorted by security to his home in Graceland.
Keeping chimpanzees as pets is incredibly difficult because they are extremely wild animals. Although there are some that have been domesticated, this is a difficult feat that is best left to experts. Chimpanzees are currently considered endangered, so they are best left in zoos or, better yet, their natural habitats.
5 – Donkey
Elvis Presley also kept a few donkeys when the family first moved into Graceland. At that time, the estate’s fences were not yet complete, so the donkeys were kept in an empty swimming pool. This prevented them from escaping the property.
Donkeys make an excellent pet, especially if you have a garden or a farm. They are quite strong and need to stay active to be healthy. When people think of donkeys, they often think of riding them or having them pull carts—which is also good for the donkeys—but donkeys are also very friendly animals. They are said to be very good companions.
6 – Squirrel Monkey
The King of Rock and Roll also owned a squirrel monkey named Bambi. One of his more exotic pets, Bambi was a gift from the Lewis family who lived near Graceland. The family gave the squirrel monkey to Elvis on Christmas 1966 while they were at the movies. As animal lovers, Elvis and Priscilla immediately accepted the squirrel monkey.
Squirrel monkeys are one of the few primates that you can keep as a pet. However, due to habitat loss, they are under threat of extinction. Keeping them as pets is highly discouraged, and owning squirrel monkeys (you will need more than one because they are highly social) is too demanding as they need constant care and attention. The next time you think about having pet squirrel monkeys, ask yourself: do you really need exotic pets in your life?
7 – Peacock
During the first few years at Graceland, the Presley family kept farm animals. One of the animals they kept were peacocks. They were naturally allowed to roam around the estate. Unfortunately, they were given away when they started scratching at their own reflections in the Presleys’ cars.
It’s not uncommon to have peacocks as pets, but they are not exactly ideal household pets. They can be high-maintenance creatures, and they do not suit a suburban or urban home. They can be domesticated to a certain degree, but no one can keep them from running around or destroying things.
8 – Wallaby
Wallabies are a type of marsupial that is native to Australia. Elvis Presley’s Australian fans sent him wallabies twice. However, he did not keep either wallaby. He instead donated them to the Memphis Zoo.
Wallabies are soft and cuddly relatives of kangaroos. At first glance, wallabies don’t seem to make great pets. They are nocturnal creatures, can jump great heights, and can deliver a strong kick. Despite these, scientists agree that wallabies make great pets. As long as you have sufficient space to allow one to run and hop around, you can keep this rather exotic pet.