OPINION

Even animals beat people in wealth possession

Neil Ray | Published: November 04, 2018 22:15:50 | Updated: November 05, 2018 20:36:08


Photo: Collected

There is no argument that animals including the wild ones and particularly the young ones of them are adorable. So it is only natural that the young of the humankind feel a close affinity to be with puppies, kitten, kids, calves, fawns or even cubs. Yet through the evolutionary process, man has learnt which animal is safe to take as a pet and which one is not. Tiger and lion cubs are no less adorable than a puppy but taking those wild beasts in their grown-up stage is highly dangerous. Except in rare cases, such pets prove unpredictable and fatally dangerous.

Yet the trend of raising exotic wild animals - reptiles like snakes, iguanas and even crocodiles included - is there particularly among people in the developed countries where money becomes a determinant factor. But mostly they keep such animals illegally because law does not in most cases permit them to do so. In Bangladesh too, a section of the nouveau riche started following them. During the army-backed caretaker government's drive against illegal accumulation of wealth, the practice of taking wild animals as pet was exposed. More people have amassed wealth in the past decade since that drive and who knows how many of those have started keeping exotic animals for pleasure either within the residential compound or in private retirement resorts - the latter now mushrooming in idyllic Gazipur.

However, there is a more sober type of pet-keeping where not the social status but pure love for pets matters. It is unthinkable that children - no matter if they are living in rural setting or urban conundrum - have not at one time or other expressed their keen interest in keeping winged or furry pets. However, not all children can keep alive the interest in their later years. But some avid animal lovers do. For a few the companionship of animals works as an elixir. They are so devoted to their feathery or fleecy friends that at times it hoists danger signal to conjugal life.

Yet pet lovers in this part of the world have miserably failed to follow their counterparts in foreign lands on one front. It is the inheritance of wealth by pets. According to the Compare the Market's 2018 Pet Rich List - the first of its kind, some of the pets in the West have either totally inherited or earned some parts of their wealth from acting in cinema, media appearances, sponsorship etc. along with inheritance of fabulous sums of money. The top 10 wealthiest animals in the world have in their possession amounts of money and other property, the majority of the world's population will never come near to earning.

How much wealth should such an animal boast? A German Shepherd called Gunther IV has as much as $375 million to hold the number one position. This super rich dog also leads a regal life. He has his personal maid and butler, eats steak and caviar. Also he has to his name seven million-dollar homes. There is however no information if the dog ever can order a change in the menu or express his desire to spend some of his time visiting those luxurious homes. Does he wag tails to please his maid or butler or show his temper like the master of the house does?

The next richest animal is a cat named Grumpy with a personal asset worth $ 99, 500,000. Unlike Gunther, Grumpy Cat has earned a good share of the asset by acting, sponsorship, media appearance etc. Cats and dogs of varying sizes and shapes - some of those attached to celebrities - feature prominently in the list. But there is an unlikely exception in that a hen from the United Kingdom (UK) has emerged as the number five richest in the world with a fortune worth $15,000,000. Named Gigoo, she is the world's richest chicken. Her earning is from inheritance.

Will pet keepers in this part of the world also make birds and animals their inheritors of property following their Western counterparts?        

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