Top Legal Exotic Pets in Colorado

In Colorado, there exists a ban on keeping numerous wild or exotic animals as pets. Nevertheless, the state does allow residents to keep a select few exotic wildlife species as pets. As per the guidelines provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, obtaining a license from the Division of Wildlife is not necessary for owning one of these species as a pet. However, you must to adhere to all other federal, state, and local laws pertaining to importation, disease control, and other related matters.

1. African Pygmy Hedgehog

An African Pygmy Hedgehog

You don't need a permit or license to keep a cute African pygmy hedgehog as an exotic pet in Colorado! If you maintain a 9-to-5 job, an African pygmy hedgehog can be an ideal pet for you. These fascinating creatures are nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. Depending on your preference, acquiring an African pygmy hedgehog can range in price from $100 to $300. By providing proper care, you can ensure that your pet African pygmy hedgehog enjoys a lifespan of up to 10 years.

2. Red Kangaroo

Red kangaroos are allowed to be kept as pets in Colorado without the need for a license. However, kangaroos are generally not suitable as pets. They require ample space to roam and graze. Plus, they are not meant to be confined indoors, ride in cars, be walked on leashes, or perform tricks like our typical house pets. In captivity, red kangaroos can live up to 25 years, and if you're considering getting one in the US, be prepared to shell out anywhere between $2900 and $5000.

3. Short-tailed possum

According to various sources, short-tailed possums are widely regarded as clean, inquisitive creatures that can make delightful companions. However, The Spruce Pet highlights that these possum species tend to engage in conflicts with their fellow species, making them more suitable as solitary pets. They have an average lifespan of approximately five years.

4. Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are legal to own as small exotic pets in many states including Colorado. By all accounts sugar gliders can be good exotic pets if given lots of attention. They are known for their lively, inquisitive, playful, and intelligent nature. These fascinating creatures thrive on socialization and often find comfort in curling up within the safety of a shirt pocket, which has earned them the endearing nickname of "pocket pets." 

When properly cared for, captive sugar gliders can live an average of 10-12 years. In the United States, the cost of acquiring an adult sugar glider typically ranges between $100 and $200. However, if you seek to raise a sugar glider from infancy, the price can range from $200 to $500.

5. Wallaby

Colorado allows the ownership of three species of wallabies as exotic pets, and the best part? No license required! These creatures include the Bennett wallaby, Dama wallaby, and Swamp wallaby. The state also permits the ownership of Wallaroos. Now, you may be wondering, what exactly is a Wallaroo? Well, it is a common name for several species of moderately large macropods, which fall in size between the kangaroos and the wallabies.

Wallabies are not only fascinating but also highly trainable and sociable. In fact, in certain regions of Australia, they have been successfully domesticated and trained to live indoors.

6. Savannah Cat

Another exotic animal that is legal to own without a license in Colorado is the Savannah cat. This unique breed of hybrid cat was developed in the late 20th century by crossing a wild African serval cat with a domestic cat. According to multiple sources, only F4 and later generations of Savannah cats are permitted to be kept as pets in Colorado. 

However, owning a Savannah cat is illegal within the city limits of Denver. With prices ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 in the United States, Savannah cats are considered quite expensive. Plus, they have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, making them a long-term commitment.

7. Coydog

An F1 Coydog
An F1 Coydog. Source: Reddit

A coydog is a hybrid canid that occurs when a male coyote mates with a female dog. These hybrids, regardless of their gender, are fertile and can be bred successfully for up to four generations (F1, F2, F3, and F4). in Colorado, you can keep a coydog as a pet without needing a permit, as all domestic and wild canine hybrids are exempt from license requirements.


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