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Exotic Animals That You Can Legally Keep as Pets in Florida

serval cat
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Florida, known for its warm climate and Disneyland. Other than this though, this state also has some of the most lenient laws regarding exotic pet ownership in the United States. Here’s a comprehensive list of some exotic animals that you can legally keep as pets in Florida!

What Is Deemed an “Exotic” Animal?

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An “exotic” animal typically refers to any species not commonly considered domesticated.

In Florida, this definition encompasses a wide range of animals, from mammals and birds to reptiles and amphibians, that are not native to the region and are usually found in the wild in other parts of the world.

1. Alligators

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In Florida, owning an alligator as a pet is highly regulated due to their potential danger to humans and the complex care they require. Prospective owners must meet stringent conditions and obtain necessary permits from wildlife authorities.

2. Bats

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Bats require specialized care, including unique enclosures and diets, reflecting their natural habitat. While keeping bats as pets is possible in Florida, it involves understanding their ecological needs and legal restrictions.

3. Sloths

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To own a sloth in Florida, individuals must obtain a Class III permit, which involves detailing the pet’s care and housing conditions. Sloths, though seemingly docile, have specific care requirements that must be met.

4. Skunks

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Skunks can be kept as pets in Florida with a Class III Wildlife Permit. Prospective owners often consider descenting, but it’s crucial to weigh the ethical and health implications for the animal.

5. Sugar Gliders

sugar glider
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Sugar gliders are small marsupials that can glide through the air. These social creatures need a lot of attention and a special diet, and they are quite common as pets in the state.

6. Llamas

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Llamas, often used as pack animals, are legal to own without a permit. They require ample grazing space and are social, so keeping more than one is advisable. They’re not as common in urban areas but can be found on larger properties.

7. Chinchillas

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Chinchillas are legal to own and do not require a permit. They have specific temperature and dietary needs and are known for their soft fur. They are more common in households that can cater to their sensitive care requirements.

8. Bison

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Owning bison is legal without a permit, though they’re not common due to their size and the space required. They are more suited to farms or large properties than typical residential settings.

9. Raccoons

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Raccoons, classified under Class III wildlife, can be owned without a permit but pose significant challenges, including potential aggression and the risk of rabies. They’re not commonly kept as pets due to their complex care needs.

10. Serval Cats

serval cat
Image by gayleenfroese2 via Pixabay

Servals require a permit to own and are not common pets due to their wild nature and specific care requirements. They are large African cats that need a lot of space and a diet that mirrors what they would eat in the wild.

Exotic Animals You Can Keep As Pets in Florida: Conclusion

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In conclusion, while Florida offers more freedom in terms of exotic pet ownership than many other states, it comes with a great responsibility. Prospective and current owners must prioritize their pets’ well-being and adhere strictly to state laws and regulations.

Which one of these critters would you like to keep in your home?

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