How Many Rare Animals Does The Queen Really Own?

Queen Elizabeth is known for her corgi obsession, owning more than 30 of the mild-mannered pups throughout her lifetime (via Insider). In fact, her love of animals began at just 6-years-old when her father gifted her a Pembroke-Welsh corgi named Dookie (via Cheat Sheet). Eighty-nine years later, the queen still loves all kinds of animals — and that includes species much rarer than corgis. Although royal dogs are a tradition dating back to the 17th century, and the queen's corgis might even participate in her funeral one day (via The Guardian), Elizabeth actually owns a few other animals that might surprise you.

According to Express, Elizabeth is known to love dorgis as much as her standard corgis, which are a mix between corgis and dachshunds. As many royal fans know, the queen is also passionate about horses, breeding and racing them her whole life. As the queen's head groom Terry Pendry told "Horse & Hound" magazine, Elizabeth is a "fountain of knowledge" when it comes to horses and owns all kinds of top-class breeds (via Town & Country). Plus, the pastime pays off: Queen Elizabeth has reportedly earned $9 million in horse racing over the years (via USA Today).

Moreover, Express reports that the queen was gifted a cow named Beauchamp Oxford Lady in 1957 by the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, which was later used as a dairy source for the royals. But while dorgis, cows, and horses are cute, the queen owns much more exotic animals as well.

All about the queen's surprising array of animals

As per Express, the queen has been gifted extremely rare animal breeds throughout her reign. For example, in the 1960s, the President of Liberia gifted Queen Elizabeth with a large array of rare animals, including two pygmy hippopotamuses. Although we would love to imagine the royal matriarch keeping the adorable hippos in Buckingham Palace, she quickly donated them to the London Zoo.

While hippos seem rare enough, Queen Elizabeth has also been gifted a crocodile, a sloth, two kangaroos, and an elephant. While it is unclear whether the animals were donated to a zoo or elsewhere, royal fans can guess that the orderly queen isn't fond of keeping an elephant in her royal quarters.

Apart from the several exotic breeds she has received as gifts over the 69 years of her reign, the queen also has a surprising animal-related birthright. According to Insider, Her Majesty owns all the swans and many kinds of fish that swim in open UK waters. Deriving from a statute put into place back in the 12th century, the queen owns every single swan, sturgeon, dolphin, whale, and porpoise living in the UK. As Express explains, this law is kept to try to limit hunting, and many fishermen or swan-hunters have had to fork over their catches to the monarchy. Although unusual, the tradition only adds more exotic species to the queen's list.