Conn. (WTNH) — Are you looking for a new pet? Before considering a new addition to the family, you may want to take a look at which animals are and are not legal to own in Connecticut.
While homes are usually filled with “normal” pets, like cats, dogs, fish, and birds, some pet owners have unique roommates. In Connecticut, it’s legal to own a hedgehog, ferret, or sugar glider — while in some states, the rodents are banned.
However, Connecticut’s list of illegal pets is steep. Some may seem obvious, while others may come as a surprise.
See the full list of animals banned as pets in the Nutmeg State:
While meerkats are social animals, they don’t bode well with humans.
Alligator, crocodile, and gavials
Alligators can grow up to 10 or 15 feet and weigh up to 600 pounds.
The wild animal is important to Connecticut, as it is harvested during the hunting and trapping seasons.
Wolf, coyote, wolverine, and hyena
While a wolf is banned in Connecticut, New York residents can own them with a certain permit.
This species is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Kangaroos and wallabies
Both Kangaroos and their babies — known as Wallabies — are banned in Connecticut, but New York residents can own them without a permit.
Connecticut is not alone on the ban, however, 17 other states allow the animal as a pet, including New Jersey and New York.
Bears: black, grizzly, and brown
Although bears may appear under a person’s porch or hibernating in their backyard, the animal is not legally allowed to be a pet in Connecticut.
Elephant, hippo, rhinoceros, and warthog
Even if you have $1,000 to spend on feeding an elephant each month, they’re not legal to own in the state.
Owls: Great Horned and White Horned
Keeping an owl is outlawed, as the breed is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Certain members of the wild cat family: lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, puma, lynes, bobcat, and ocelot
These animals are banned due to their dangerous nature.
Tigers, servals, caracals, jungle cats, Savannah cats, and foxes
Not only are these animals banned due to their exotic and dangerous nature, but there is also a ban of public contact.
Gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, gibbons, apes, and baboons
They may share certain DNA with humans, but animals like chimpanzees are not domesticated.
Certain snakes: King Cobra, coral, mambas, copperheads, viperidae, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, reticulated python, and certain anacondas
These tropical snakes are non-native and venomous, with the King Cobra’s bite strong enough to kill a human in just 15 minutes.
Gila monsters and beaded lizards
These gila monsters require unique care and are not legal to handle.
Nile monitor and Komodo dragon
The Komodo Dragon is an endangered species and therefore illegal to own as a pet.
These large rodents — that look like deer — can be kept as pets in several other states.
Partridges are considered a wild species.
Otters are not domesticated, and it is considered cruel to keep them as companions.
This ban is not particular to Connecticut; tiny turtles with shells less than four inches are federally banned due to the potential to carry Salmonella.
So, what happens if you possess a dangerous animal illegally?
If you own one of the above animals as pets, you can face a fine of $1,000, according to the Connecticut General Assembly (CGA). The owner is then billed by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for seizing, caring for, maintaining, and disposing the animal. The crime could also be charged as a misdemeanor, and owners could face prison for up to a year.
These laws do not apply to zoos, national parks, nature centers, museums, labs, or research facilities.