5 of the World’s Richest Animals (Slideshow)


It’s not uncommon for pets to be provided for in their owners’ wills, and many U.S. states now even have statutes concerning pet trusts. But the tiny inheritances of most ordinary animals are chicken feed compared to the gigantic fortunes of these animal millionaires. Rather than thinking about all of the other, more productive uses for the millions these animals inherited, just try to enjoy the absurdity of a chimp or a chicken that has more money in the bank than most of us will ever see in a lifetime.

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1. Gunther IV the German Shepherd.

With a fortune valued at more than $300 million, this pampered pooch is far and away the world’s richest animal. Gunther IV inherited his millions from his father, (wait for it…) Gunther III, who in turn inherited his fortune from the eccentric German countess Karlotta Libenstein. Gunther’s entourage includes servants and maids, a chauffeur, and a personal chef, and he reportedly owns a Miami villa that once belonged to Madonna.

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2. Kalu the Chimpanzee.

This chimp is perhaps the only animal better known for losing a fortune rather than gaining one. Kalu was set to inherit a whopping $65 million from Patricia O’Neill, a millionaire aristocrat who rescued the chimp from war-ravaged Zaire in 1985. Unfortunately, O’Neil announced in 2010 that she was nearly penniless after falling victim to financial swindling, leaving almost no inheritance for Kalu. Somehow it’s hard to believe the chimp really cares either way.

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3. Tommasino the Cat

When 94-year-old Italian millionaire Maria Assunta died in 2011, she left her entire $15 million fortune to her cat Tommasino, making him the wealthiest feline in the world. Although Italian law prohibits Tommasino from inheriting the money directly, Assunta’s will also calls the fortune to be donated to a “worthy animal association,” which is presumably a better use of $15 million than what most of these other animals are spending their riches on.

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4. Gigoo the Hen.

British publishing mogul Miles Blackwell had unusual taste in pets and unusual stipulations in his will. After the death of his wife, Blackwell altered his will and left everything to his beloved hen Gigoo – a fortune of nearly $14 million when converted to U.S. currency. Gigoo’s wealth ensures that she’ll always be at the top of the financial pecking order.

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5. Trouble the Maltese.

The so-called “Queen of Mean” may have not liked humans (or paying taxes!) very much, but Leona Helmsley sure did love her Maltese. After her death in 2007, the notorious hotel and real estate mogul left a trust valued at $12 million to her beloved Trouble, making the lap dog one of the wealthiest — and most famous — animals on the planet. Her estate was worth billions, and, though 2 of her 4 grandchildren didn’t make the cut, and the other two grandchildren received a measly $10 million, the estate bankrolled Trouble’s lavish lifestyle to the tune of $100,000 per year. So how on earth can you spend that much on a dog? Well, the bulk of it went to private security, $8,000 for grooming, and $1,200 for food. Trouble passed away in 2010, and the remainder of her trust went to charity.

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Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Carol P.
Carol P4 years ago

Though the idea of leaving something to cover the costs of caring for a pet is totally reasonable, most of these examples are completely ridiculous.

Jandrel Andrel
i Andrel4 years ago

I love animals and believe they should be pampered BUT I think how useful that money could be elsewhere - like providing clean water - to people without. Basic needs or extravagant pet pads?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

ridiculously absurd

Luis Antonio Bravo L?pez

Don´t people realize the only thing pet need is love and care, not a driver or a maid?

Kathy G.
Kathy G4 years ago

Always stipulate in one's will how the pets will be cared for and by whom. Then leave a specified amount to the caregiver to care for the pets. This helps prevent the possibility of your beloved pets being dumped at the pound.

Elaine Al Meqdad
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago

When I go on to my real home (Heaven) I'm certainly NOT going to give a rats diddle about one single solitary thing left on the planet in the material venue But I will most definitely will everything to an animal sanctuary that will care for as many animals as possible. I truly feel that most readers have overlooked the fact that this money that was left to their animals is two fold..1) To ensure that their most beloved above all, would be given the best care in the world for the remainder of their lives AND 2) That there really was no one in these peoples lives who really had their best interest at heart..i.e Ruthless accountants, relatives and the like. I wished however, that there would have been a determined amount left towards the help and saving of other animals...But,, then again are we really privy to information that this was not done...I personally believe that it was! This is only an article that claims the wealth left to these animals, it does not speak to other possibilities that a set amount was given OR not given to aide other animals and yet I know these people truly loved animals and did much during their lives, for the very sake of animals. Therefore, again I choose to fully believe that these, their own, were not the only to benefit from their owners wealth.

Ronnie Madriz
Ronnie Madriz4 years ago

This is stupid, and think that in the world there people with hungry.

barbara kelly
Barbara kelly4 years ago


Joy T.
Joy T4 years ago

I'd like to work for Gunther...