24 Animals You Are Not Allowed To Keep As Pets In Florida


When it comes to owning a pet these days, most people want to be extra wild while some of us will opt for fluffy puppies and kitties. Of course, throughout history, people have kept exotic animals such as wild cats as pets. However, in the modern day, some animals are banned from being kept as pets because they may not be suitable as household companions. In the United States, each state has its own laws and regulations when it comes to owning some specific wildlife.

In the State of Florida, you are not allowed to possess Class I wildlife, which is deemed to pose a real or potential threat to human safety, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The usual suspects such as bears, lions, and tigers have been banned as pets in many states.

24 Animals that are banned as personal pets in Florida

1. Cheetahs

Cheetahs are not allowed as pets in Florida

Even though Cheetahs are known to be less aggressive toward humans, study finds that they appear to be less capable of coexisting with us. In Florida, it is prohibited to keep a Cheetah as a pet, though they can be easily tamed.

2. Cougars and Panthers

Cougars and Panthers

Cougars and panthers are two wild cats, with cougar being native to the Americas while panthers are distributed in Africa, Asia, and America. According to a study, Cougars, also known as mountain lions, may attack humans when in a condition of severe starvation.

3. Jaguars

Jaguars are not to be kept as pets in Florida

As the only living member of the genus Panthera and native to the Americas, the large cat species is known to have acted aggressively toward humans. According to online records, a jaguar killed a Brazilian in June 2008. This was the first official report of a jaguar killing a human. Of all big cats, jaguars are deemed the least likely to kill and eat humans. After all, the majority of jaguar attacks occur when the animals feel threatened. Nevertheless, it is not allowed to keep Jaguars as pets in Florida.

4. Leopards


As a member of the cat family, Felidae, the Leopard and the jaguar look almost the same but the leopard is easily distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur. Several Leopard attacks on humans have been reported throughout history, with the Leopard of Rudraprayag killing over 125 people. In 2020, a 50-year-old Florida man was mauled by a black Leopard at a Broward County zoo. Nevertheless, leopards have been tamed and trained in modern times. However, they (Snow leopards included) are not allowed to be owned as personal pets in the Sunshine State.

5. Lions


In the Sunshine State, the king of the jungle is banned as a personal pet.

6. Tigers

A Tiger

As the largest living cat species, tigers have directly attacked and killed more humans than any other wild cat. According to reports, most of the deadly attacks occur accidentally when a human inadvertently comes between a mother tiger and her child. Occasionally, human beings have become prey in the eyes of Tigers.

7. Black caimans, Crocodiles, and Gavials

A Black caiman

A Black caiman

A Crocodile

A Crocodile

A Gavial

A Gavial

The above three reptiles can not be possessed as personal pets in Florida.

8. Baboons, Drills and mandrills

a baboon

A Baboon

The Drill and Mandrill

The Drills and Mandrill.

These three large Old World monkeys are banned as pets in the Sunshine State.

9. Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and Orangutans

Chimpanzee, Gorilla, and Orangutan

Chimpanzees are known to have attacked humans, including children. As for Gorillas and Orangutans, they will only become aggressive if they are threatened. These primates are not to be kept as pets in Florida.

10. Bears


These carnivoran mammals are dangerous to humans. News of Bear attacks are constantly being reported nationwide. In October 2022, two Wyoming college wrestlers were gruesomely attacked by a Bear while hunting. However, Bears may attack humans for different reasons including when being startled, or in defense of a young.

It's also illegal to own the following animals:
  1. Rhinoceros
  2. Elephants
  3. Hippopotamuses
  4. Cape buffalos
  5. Gaur
  6. Komodo dragons
  7. Aardwolves
  8. Hyenas

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