Unique Pets on Campus

Uniqueness allows Woodbridge High students to be diverse on campus, and in the broader world, uniqueness can be found even in our pets at home


Isabella Gonzalez

Lafayette, the gecko, in her natural habitat, surrounded by white flowers.


Out of all the reptiles an owner could have at home, a gecko is one of the types of pets that is not that common to own yet it’s one of a kind to keep as a household pet. Freshman Olivia Anderson has a tan gecko named Lafayette.
“I first really wanted a dog but my parents didn’t want me to get one so I went for something smaller, plus I think reptiles are really cool,” Anderson said.
Geckos could be mistaken for being lizards, yet bigger and having more scaly skin. These small reptiles are capable of sticking to a variety of surfaces that they touch.
“[Lafayette] can live for a very long time, up to 15 years. He doesn’t have any eyelids, but he has little eyelashes that curl down when he sleeps. He changes between the light and dark depending on his
energy levels,” Anderson said.
A majority of geckos don’t have eyelids, just like Anderson’s gecko, so in order to clean their eyes, they have to lick the membrane that is covering their eyeballs. It is an experience unlike no other to own a gecko as a pet.


Red Eared Turtles 

Turtles can be a common pet, but what makes them stand out, is the type of turtle an owner could have. Freshman Marissa Hernandez owns two Red Eared Sliders, which are a species of freshwater turtles.
“My dad and I were just shopping around in Santa Ana, and we found these two turtles in the back of the store, and they were the only two left in the tank. And they were pretty cheap,” Hernandez said.
For any type of turtle, owners have to make sure their environment, water levels/temperature and tank size are at a specific number.
“It’s hard to keep up with keeping their environment clean. Each turtle, when they become a full size, [they are at least] a foot each long,” Hernandez said.
Turtles in general have different designs on their plastron and their shell depending on the species of the turtle.
“My turtles, they have different shapes like brown on their
stomachs. Their shells are basically almost the same, but their stomachs have different designs, I would say,” Hernandez said.
Having a turtle, especially two of them, it can be a lot of work to take care of, yet worth it to own these type of reptiles as a pet.



Remember that one fish from Nemo that blew up every time he got nervous? That fish is considered a pufferfish. Similar to the gecko, pufferfish is not a typical fish most would own.
The Puffer Fish, also known as the blowfish, are a poisonous scaleless type of fish that usually have rough to spiky skin. They also have the capability to puff up. Senior Elise Fan owns a pufferfish as one of her pets.
“The reason [pufferfish] survive for too long is because if other fish eat them, they will die because they are poisonous. I’ve had like three or four pufferfish over the course of five years,” Fan said.
Owning a pufferfish at home takes a lot of responsibility and care since they are different compared to other typical pet fish such as goldfish and guppies.
“The best part, I just think they are really pretty. There are different types out there, not too many to choose from…I think it’s cool to bringing them home and sometimes they will fight with the original fish, sometimes not,” Fan said.



Cockatiels, also known as “weiro birds” and connected to the parrot family, are seen as unique to have as a household pet for a family or individual.
At Woodbridge High, sophomore Vandana Kumar is the owner of Sunny, a lutino cockatiel.
“Sunny acts pretty much like a dog, like she is very similar to a dog. She will run out to her favorite people, climb on their pants. She will like to climb on their clothes, and she likes getting pet. All like normal dog [actions],” Kumar said.
Unlike other parrots, the lutino cockatiels are better at whistling than at speaking. Birds and other animals in general are not just pets, in some cases they even are family.
“Since I’m an only child, Sunny is company. She acts like a younger sibling would react in bird form. It’s just fun having her around, [and] it’s better than not having other people besides my parents,” Kumar said.

Perry, the pufferfish, enjoys her fish tank with a coral reef behind her. (Isabella Gonzalez)
The cockatiel, Sunny, with her bright yellow
colors, is shown in a close up shot. (Photo courtesy of Vandana Kumar)
Turtle Michael Phelps and Turtle Tuck swimming in their tank. (Photo courtesy of Marissa Hernandez)