Native and Exotic Wild Animals That Are Legal in Alabama


Alabama allows many exotic wild animals and a few native species to be kept as pets under certain requirements. For starters, you must be 21 years or older and meet experience, caging, and property size requirements in order to own a wild and exotic animal in Alabama. In addition, you must not be convicted of captive wildlife violations in the past.

Wild animals

Alabama divides captive wildlife into three categories named Class I, II, and III. The relevant experience required to own captive wildlife in Alabama depends on the category under which the species you wish to keep falls.

To own a Class I or Class II animal, for example, a person must have a 1000-hour documentation of practical experience in caring, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species he or she wishes to keep as a pet. The experience must be documented in a year. Five acres of land in addition to two references are also required for the keeping of Class I and II animals. Alabama Class I and II animal owners must notify local authorities within 24 hours if their wild pet escapes or attacks a human being.

Overall, Class I and II species are heavily regulated in the state of Alabama.

Any animal that is not listed under the Class I and II categories automatically falls under Class III. The possession of Class III animals requires 2.5 acres of property in addition to 500 hours of documented practical experience. The experience must be documented in 6 months.

Class I Animals As Pets in Alabama

The following exotic animals fall into the Class I category and are legal to keep as pets in the state of Alabama: Asian leopards, leopards, jaguars, tigers, lions, clouded leopards, cheetahs, cougars, bears, rhinos, elephants, hippos, cape buffalos,  chimpanzees, gorillas, gibbons, drills and mandrills, orangutans, baboons, macaques, siamangs, crocodiles (except dwarf and Congo), black caimans, gavials, komodo dragons, alligators, venomous reptiles, African hunting dogs, wolves, and hyenas.

Class II Animals As Pets in Alabama

Alabama Class II animals that are legal to keep as pets include many exotic species: Coyotes, jackals, Indian dholes, binturongs, dwarf crocodiles, caimans, cassowaries, wolverines, honey badgers, Old World badgers, American badgers, serval cats, European and Canadian lynxes, bobcats, caracals, Asian golden cats, African golden cats, fishing cats, ocelots, proboscis monkeys, snub-nosed langurs, douc langurs, indris, Guereza monkeys, bearded sakis, guenon monkeys, mangabeys, uakaris, and howler monkeys.

As mentioned earlier, any animal that is not listed under the Class I and II categories is considered a Class III species, according to Alabama Game, Fish and Wildlife Law.


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