In the State of Louisiana, citizens are prohibited from purchasing, owning, and selling large and exotic animals like primates (non-human), bears, wolves, and large cats. Only accredited zoos, circuses, research facilities, and Louisiana colleges or universities may keep such creatures. 

But what about other wild and exotic animals? While they may not be expressly prohibited under the Louisiana Administrative Code, most municipalities have ordinances in place that ban residents from keeping wild and exotic animals as pets.

It’s easy to understand why. Even domesticated dogs can bite people and cause harm, so it’s no leap to assume that wild and exotic animals might be a threat, no matter how cute they appear. 

Still, you may be surprised at some of the animals you’re not allowed to keep as pets in certain parts of the state. Check out this list of popular animals that could land you in legal hot water.

1. Snakes (Sometimes)

Many people choose snakes because they’re low maintenance compared to a dog or cat. Many also feel that watching them is calming, like gazing at fish in an aquarium. While these slithery reptiles may look beautiful in an enclosed habitat in your home, snakes are well-known escape artists, which could increase your premises liability if someone gets bit.

Even so, not all snakes are prohibited in Louisiana. Certain species, including venomous snakes and constrictors over eight feet long, are only allowed by permit. This applies to a variety of pythons, boa constrictors, anacondas, and so on. 

Other snakes are allowed by state law, too. However, you should always check municipal ordinances for your area before adding a new slithering friend to your household.

2. Squirrels

Although state law specifically prohibits only “certain potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates,” many municipalities have their own restrictions. This includes blanket restrictions for owning wild or exotic animals in cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport. Since squirrels are wild animals, they cannot be kept as pets.

3. Raccoons

These little bandits are smart and adorable, which makes some people want to raise them as pets. It’s actually legal to own a pet raccoon in 19 states, but Louisiana isn’t one of them. Remember that these are wild animals that can behave unpredictably, especially if they feel cornered. The last thing you want is for a child to be injured when trying to cuddle your raccoon.

4. Deer

You might not consider deer to be particularly dangerous, at least not in the same way as a bear or lion. However, some municipalities prohibit the ownership of these lovely creatures, which are still wild animals.

5. Foxes

Like domesticated dogs, foxes are members of the Canidae family, so you might not see any issue with keeping one as a pet. However, they are still viewed as wild animals, along with wolves, coyotes, jackals, and others. This means you cannot keep them as pets in any municipality that prohibits the ownership of wild or exotic animals.

Why Are Exotic Pets Illegal?

Under Louisiana Law, owning wild or exotic animals is considered to be a public health and safety hazard. It’s also detrimental to the animals themselves and may impact the “conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species.”

Although snakes, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and foxes might seem like perfectly acceptable pets, you need to be aware of prohibitions at both state and municipal levels before you bring one home. Even if you’re able to get a permit, be aware that wild and exotic animals have special needs that you’ll be responsible for meeting as a pet owner.

Contact the Louisiana Law Firm Of Kenny Habetz Injury Law for Help Today

If you’ve been injured in a personal injury, please call Kenny Habetz Injury Law for a free case evaluation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer or contact us online. We have offices in Lafayette and Crowley, LA.

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Lafayette
110 E Kaliste Saloom Rd Ste 101 Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 399-9000

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Crowley
604 S Parkerson Ave. Crowley, LA 70526
(337) 329-8883