From Rabbits To Badgers: A Look Into The Pets Of The Roosevelt Family

By Martin B March 13, 2023

Theodore Roosevelt was not only a President but also an avid animal lover. The Roosevelt family had a plethora of pets, ranging from guinea pigs to a macaw and even a badger. Theodore appreciated the companionship and unemotional nature of the guinea pigs, naming them after notable figures such as Bishop Doane and Admiral Dewey.

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The family’s pet Hyacinth Macaw, Eli Yale, was a colorful addition to the family’s animal menagerie. Theodore remarked that the bird looked like it had come straight out of Alice in Wonderland. The macaw resided in the White House greenhouse, which was later replaced by the West Wing.

The Roosevelt children also had rabbits as pets, with Quentin Roosevelt receiving two white rabbits as a gift at the age of five, while Archie had a rabbit called Peter.

However, the most unique pet in the Roosevelt family was undoubtedly Archie’s pet badger, Josiah. Despite the animal’s short temper, Archie defended him vehemently and told everyone it didn’t bite.

Theodore was hesitant about the badger’s behavior, but Archie defended Josiah’s character, seeing the suggestion as an unworthy assault on the animal’s reputation.

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President Roosevelt’s love for animals extended beyond domestic pets to exotic ones. The animals were not just a passing fancy but genuine companions to the Roosevelt family, each with their unique personality and quirks.

It is evident that the animals held a special place in the Roosevelt family’s hearts, with proper burials given to those that passed away. Theodore’s observation about guinea pigs’ unemotional nature, fitting them for companionship with young children and the family’s affection for their pets reminds us of the importance of animals in our lives and the love and respect they deserve.