Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Wild Animals as Pets in Florida

Keeping wild and exotic animals as pets in Florida requires a license or permit. Both permanent residents and visitors in Florida can obtain a permit/license. The type of permit or license you will be issued depends on the type of animal you wish to own. Florida divides a large volume of species into three categories,  Class I, Class II, and Class II.

To possess a Class 2 animal in Florida, for example, you will need to obtain a Class 2 permit or license. So, in this article, you will discover the types of wild or exotic animals listed in each class. In addition, you will discover a number of exotic animals that are legal to own as pets in Florida.

Florida Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Animals

Class I wildlife as pets in Florida

Which animals are categorized as class 1 in Florida? Florida Class I animals are wild animals deemed to pose a real or potential danger to human safety. You need a license to possess a Class I wildlife in Florida. However Class I species are not allowed as personal pets in the Sunshine State due to their nature and habits.

Florida Class I animals include Cheetahs, Cougars, Panthers, Jaguars, Leopards, Lions, Snow leopards, Tigers, Black caimans, Crocodiles, Gavials, Baboons, Drills and mandrills, Gelada baboons, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, Bears, Rhinoceros, Elephants, Hippopotamuses, Cape buffalos, Gaurs, Komodo dragons, Aardwolves, Hyenas, Gibbons, and Siamangs. These wild animals are considered to present a real or potential threat to human safety and therefore are not allowed as pets in Florida. Visit the Florida Captive Wildlife page for more info.

Class II wildlife as pets in Florida

Florida Class 2 animals are considered to pose a real or potential danger to human safety. Nevertheless, these animals can legally be owned as pets in the Sunshine States. However, you must obtain a license to own a class 2 animal. Furthermore, the license application requires substantial experience and a specific cage.

The Florida Class 2 animals include African golden cats, Bobcats, Caracals, Clouded leopards, European and Canadian lynx, Fishing cats, Ocelots, Servals, Temminck's golden cats, Alligators, Caimans, Dwarf crocodiles, Douc langurs, Guenons, Guereza monkeys, Langurs, Macaques and Celebes black apes, Mangabeys, Patas monkeys, Proboscis monkeys, Proboscis monkeys, Snub-nosed, Vervet, Grivet or Green monkeys, Giraffes, Okapis, Tapirs, Forest buffalo, Banteng, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Anoa, Antelopes, Howler monkeys, Sakis, Uakaris, Indris, African hunting dogs, Coyotes, Indian dholes, Jackals, Wolves, American badgers, Honey badgers, Old World badgers, Wolverines, Binturongs, Cassowaries, and Ostriches. Of these animals, you can find exotic animals that are legal to keep as pets in the state of Florida.

For example, some exotic legal pets in Florida include the Serval cat, African golden cat, Canadian lynx, Temminck's golden cat, African hunting dog, and Fishing cat.

See the application requirements for a Class II wildlife license, which costs $140 per year and requires a minimum age of 18 years.

Please note that animals taken directly from the wild are not allowed to be kept as pets in Florida. The personal pet license is only issued for captive-bred animals obtained from a legally licensed source.

Class III wildlife as pets in Florida

What are Class 3 animals in Florida? There is no formal list of Class III animals in Florida because of the large volume of species that fall under the class 3 category. In other words, any non-domesticated animal that is not listed in Class I and Class II categories falls under the Class III category. Class III animals include both exotic species and species native to Florida.

Some common Class III animals that require a permit to keep as pets in Florida include zebras, wallabies, coatimundis, foxes, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, opossums, lemurs, tamarins, marmoset, kinkajou, skunks, and raccoons. Visit FWC for more info or you can contact the Captive Wildlife Office at (850) 488-6253 or or visit their address at 620 S Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

You don't need a permit to keep the following animals as pets in Florida: Hedgehogs, honey possums, gerbils, nonvenomous and unprotected reptiles or amphibians, rats, sugar gliders, mice, moles, shrews, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, European ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, prairie dogs, domestic ferrets, chinchillas, prairie dogs, shell parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, lovebirds, parrots, myna birds, finches, ringed doves, toucans, ruddy doves, button quail, and diamond doves.


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