Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are animals who offer support to their owners. Unlike service animals, ESAs don't have a specific talent but they help owners feel calm and collected in times of distress. With the proper paperwork, owners can bring their registered emotional support animals just about anywhere that pets aren't typically allowed (restaurants, movie theaters, and even airplanes).
Flights tend to be nerve-wracking for everyone but for the extra nervous, ESAs can be extremely helpful. Instead of riding in the belly of the plane, these animals get to sit at the feet or in the fellow seat of their owner. However, ESAs aren't just dogs and cats like they were when the program began; they can be an array of animals. Thanks to social media users who were bewildered by seeing non-pets on planes, keep scrolling to see 10 of the strangest emotional support animals travelers saw while en-route to their destination.
10 Gobble, Gobble!
For some families, turkeys are seen as supper but for this particular passenger, they're an emotional support animal. According to The Sun, a turkey named Esther made her way on to a flight with her owner. Her owner claims Esther helped her through a difficult time in her life and continues to help her on flights.
9 This Little Guy Isn't In Australia Anymore...
For many animal lovers, getting the chance to see a kangaroo in real life is a dream come true. And while most are found in Australia, one kangaroo was spotted on a flight as an ESA! This little cutie stayed close to its owner on the flight and got to sleep in a cot that looked similar to a fuzzy sleeping bag.
8 This Little Piggy Went On A Ride
More and more pigs are becoming pets, and this is sadly due to the rumors that "miniature" pigs stay miniature.
Over time, these small pigs grow into adult-size pigs and can take up more room on a plane. This smart ESA pig was spotted on its way to Florida for some fun in the sun!
7 There's A Minature Horse In The Exit Aisle
Popular ESAs are dogs, cats, and small animals that fit in cages. It's not every day we see a miniature horse over 30,000 feet in the sky! Believe it or not, small horses are allowed to be ESAs as long as they have the proper paperwork and have space on the plane.
6 The Cutest Passenger On The Plane
Those living in North America don't see monkeys too often unless they're at the zoo. But this particular flight got lucky when a monkey was an emotional support animal!
The little primate was wearing a diaper to make it through the flight and seemed curious about the giant bird he was flying on.
5 That's One Colorful Passenger Checking His Bags
It's hard to imagine having a peacock as a pet, let alone an emotional support animal. Peacocks can get pretty big and expand their tail for a multitude of reasons, so it makes you wonder how a peacock could be comfortable on a flight as an ESA. Where would it fit its tail!
4 Daniel The Duck Goes For A Ride
Everyone meet Daniel! Daniel is an Indian Runner who was on his way to Asheville, North Carolina with his owners.
The duck is a registered emotional support animal who was sporting a diaper and shoes for his travels. Ducks are used to flying high but not as high as a plane!
3 Hopefully Chicken Wasn't On The Menu...
Roosters are gentle and light but they can also be loud when they need to be. More and more people are buying chickens and roosters for their homes so they can have fresh eggs every morning while knowing the birds are taken care of in a humane way. But having one as an ESA? That's a new one.
2 A Quick Ride To The Arctic
Penguins like to travel in pairs, if not groups. This is how they're able to raise their young and hunt safely. And as it turns out, they also travel in pairs when in the air. These little Arctic birds were someone's ESAs and were able to waddle through the isles to say hi to their new friends aboard.
1 A Flacon Getting A Lift
Falcons are stunning birds known for their great wingspan and eyesight. The sport falconry was created because of it. On this flight, it appears a man brought his falconry teammate on his flight as an ESA. And while an airplane is not where a bird belongs, he actually looks quite comfortable.