Do you love animals and want to own an exotic pet? There are various types of animals that you can own as pets, but not all of them are legal in every state. If you live in Arizona, there are a few different exotic pets that you can bring home.

What Are Considered Exotic Animals?

The term “exotic animal” can mean different things to different people. Generally, an exotic animal is any type of animal that is not native to your area and is not commonly kept as a pet. This can include animals normally found in the wild, such as lions, tigers, and bears. It can also include animals not typically considered pets, such as monkeys and snakes.

There are different reasons why someone might want to own an exotic animal. Some people believe that these animals make unique and interesting pets. Others appreciate the challenge of caring for an animal not usually seen as a pet. Whatever the reason, you must research your state’s laws before you purchase an exotic animal.

In addition, unlike standard vet services, such as cat & dog vaccinations and parasite prevention, caring for an exotic animal’s health and wellbeing can be expensive and complicated. Most exotic animals require specialized care that can be difficult to find.

Exotic Animal Laws in Arizona

The Arizona Administrative Code R12-4-406 defines an exotic animal as “any live vertebrate animal that is not indigenous to this state and is dangerous to human beings.” This definition includes, but is not limited to, the following exotic animals:

  • Alligators
  • Crocodiles
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Chimpanzees
  • Gorillas
  • Orangutans

It’s necessary to obtain a permit from the Arizona Game and Fish Department to own one of these animals. The department will issue one if they determine that you can properly care for the animal. To successfully acquire a permit, you must submit required documents with your application, including a vet health certificate, proof of insurance, and a wildlife management plan.

What Exotic Animals Can I Own in Arizona?

In addition to the animals listed above, there are a few other exotic animals that you can own in Arizona.

1. Mammals

These include exotic mammals such as:

  • Baboons
  • Cougars
  • Ocelots
  • Servals
  • Skunks
  • Wolverines

2. Birds

You can also own certain exotic birds, such as:

  • Cassowaries
  • Flamingos
  • Mynahs
  • Ostriches
  • Pheasants

Acquire a permit from the Arizona Game and Fish Department if you want to own any of these animals. Also, you are only allowed to own 50 birds at one time.

3. Tortoise

The desert tortoise is the only tortoise species native to Arizona. If you want to own a different type of tortoise, you need to acquire a certificate of veterinary inspection and apply for a wildlife import permit from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. 

4. Reptiles

As long as you have a certificate of veterinary inspection, you can own the following reptiles in Arizona:

  • Bearded dragons
  • Boa constrictors
  • Leopard geckos
  • Red-eared slider turtles

5. Insects

A permit is unnecessary if you want to own an exotic insect, such as a tarantula. In fact, Arizona is home to over 250 insects and bugs.

6. Fish

You do not need a permit to own most exotic fish in Arizona. However, some restrictions exist on owning certain types of fish, such as piranhas.

7. Other Animals

You can also own other animals that do not fall into any of the above categories. These include amphibians, arthropods, and mollusks. Some examples of these animals are frogs, crabs, and snails. You do not need a permit to own any of these animals.

However, you should research the care requirements for any animal you consider owning. Remember, exotic animals can be difficult to care for and require specialized knowledge and care. If you don’t have time to care for them, you may look for pet boarding that caters to your needs. Click here to learn more.

Keep in Mind

There are a few exotic pets that you can own in Arizona. However, it’s important to remember that these animals require specialized care and knowledge. If you’re not prepared to care for an animal properly, you may want to consider pet boarding. Boarding facilities can provide care for your animal needs while you’re away.

Most importantly, check the state’s laws and regulations regarding exotic animals before you buy one. Sometimes your local government also has additional rules.