We all love pets. They become our boon companions and members of the family. But what if you fancy owning a species of animal that is unusual and rarely on people’s pet list? Move over cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and hamsters – they are far too common. Many families are looking for more wild and exotic pets as companions nowadays. But before you get a fancy pet for the family, it is important to know which of them are legalized to own in your state.
Arizona is one of the states in America where laws are quite tough regarding pet regulations. It is a possibility that sharing a border with Mexico makes the state vulnerable to smuggling of wild animals into the country. But still, some of the pets that are banned in Arizona would raise many eyebrows. For example, adorable primates like chimpanzees, macaques, orangutans, and spider monkeys or several species of fish and marine life, even turtles, are restricted as pets. Also, think twice before planning to get alligators and crocodiles, poisonous snakes such as cobras and rattlesnakes, wolves and coyotes, many types of frogs and toads, bears, foxes, raccoons, and weasels. These are all forbidden in Arizona.
Don’t lose heart that the exotic Gila monster that you so wanted to get finds itself in Arizona’s restricted list. We have compiled a list of 10 exotic pets that you can legally own without getting into trouble with the authorities.
1. African Crested Porcupine
Porcupines are fascinating creatures, and the New World species, commonly called the North American porcupines, are frequently found but cannot be owned in Arizona due to legal restrictions. But it is interesting to note that the more exotic Old-World species of the African crested porcupines are welcome in Arizona, and you can get one as a pet if you wish.
2. American Bison
Ever fancied owning a bison? Originally wild animals, the American bison can be tamed, although they may not feature highly on most people’s list for domestic animals. The usefulness of bison as cattle is undeniable as they can be used as farm animals and also for meat. This is vouched by the fact that unlike many other hoofed animals that are categorically banned, the state of Arizona does allow the American bison as a pet.
Capybaras are semi-aquatic members of the rodent family and tend to make exotic pets. Their adorable nature makes them popular as pets in many families who want to own something more exotic than their close relatives – the guinea pigs. The permission to own these animals as pets is quite common in many states, including Arizona. It is a fascinating fact that capybaras are very social and thrive best in captivity if kept together.
One of the most popular exotic pets that Arizonian regulations permit to own is the hedgehogs. The most common species of hedgehogs, the African pygmy hedgehogs, are not native to America and are bred purely for domestication. They are lovable looking creatures and can sometimes be mistaken for porcupines to an untrained eye. However, hedgehogs are a lot less prone to be on the banned list of pets for the fact that they are easily tamed and being naturally harmless, they are less likely to use their quills to attack when scared.
5. Reticulated Python
As mentioned earlier, in Arizona, most poisonous snakes and other reptiles like crocodiles and alligators belong to the restricted list of pets. But, remarkably, large reticulated members of the snake family like the pythons and the anacondas are deemed legal as domesticated animals in the state. It is also interesting to note that while these slow-moving monstrous reptilian beauties are wild by nature, but when they are bred in captivity and handled with proper care, they make exotic pets.
6. Savannah Cat
Do you want to get a feline companion, but find cats too common? Well, you may consider getting a Savannah cat and enjoy the company of an adorable yet feisty creature. Savannah cats are wild cat hybrids but can make wonderful pets if you care to spend quality time with them and provide them a healthy outlet for their natural wild tendencies. The exotic nature of these animals notwithstanding, Savannah cats are legalized as pets in Arizona homes.
7. Short-Tailed Opossum
Another delightful and docile pet that is usually rare but quite popular for adoption is the short-tailed opossums. Make no mistake, these mammals may look like a rodent, but, in fact, they are marsupials. They make friendly pets but are not social creatures. It is thus advisable to not get too many of them as pets, but if you do, then refrain from keeping them together as they tend to fight and kill each other. Also, do take note that the smaller exotic-looking short-tailed opossums are perfectly legal to own. So, do not get the cat-sized opossums, which are more common in America but banned as pets in Arizona.
8. Sugar Glider
This tiny possum species of the marsupial family gets its exotic name from the fact that it resembles a flying squirrel in its ability to glide through the air and its partiality to sugary food like nectar and plant sap. Sugar gliders are fortunate to be exempt from Arizona’s regulations for keeping exotic pets, and being gregarious, they thrive best when kept in pairs.
9. Wallaby and Kangaroo
It cannot get more exotic than owning a wallaby or a kangaroo as a pet. In Arizona, it has been noted that many members of the marsupial family find favor as permitted pets. The popularity of these native Australian animals in the American household has grown over the recent years in spite of their considerable size and high maintenance. It is, however, advisable to only go for them if you are up for a challenge, as these mild-mannered creatures do not tend to flourish well in environments so unlike their natural habitat.
Potentially dangerous but surprisingly belonging to the exempt list of forbidden pets in Arizona are the hybrid canines, popularly christened as wolfdogs. If you plan on owning one, be ready to furnish proof of their hybrid nature as wolves are strictly banned as pets in the state. Most people do not care much for these naturally aggressive animals, but some find the feisty creatures rare and exotic to make worthwhile pets.