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Pet Alligator Legal States 2024

Pet Alligator Legal States 2024

Owning a pet alligator in the United States can be complicated, but some states do allow it. There are states that consider alligators exotic animals and have banned ownership. Some states will allow you to own one with proper licensing or permits. There are five states that allow alligator ownership without a single permit or license:

Florida allows for the ownership of alligators with a license. Other states that allow pet alligators with a permit include Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, and Vermont. In all other states, owning a pet alligator is illegal.

When alligators are not allowed, it is due to their safety risk, as they are considered to be inherently dangerous. Along with having to check what is required to own an alligator, you will need to check with your local and state authorities as to what other requirements you must have in place to own an alligator.

Owning Alligators is Federally Regulated

States do provide for ownership of alligators in some cases, but there are also federal regulations that must be followed. Alligators are protected by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This department provides for states to implement their own measures, but there are some federal regulations you will need to comply with.

Alligators will need their own enclosure, and owners will need one with both land and water. The enclosure should ideally be twice the length of the alligator, and the width should be equal to or greater than the length of the alligator.

The water component of the enclosure must have a space with depth where the alligator can submerge completely. This must be a caged enclosure, constructed with materials that this animal can not escape from. Concrete and chain link fences are common enclosure materials for alligators.

There are many other enclosure regulations for alligators that include access. Most enclosures are kept outside. Owners will need to ensure that the cage can not be accessed by people that do not have the authorization to do so.

The enclosure and water for the alligator will need to be kept clean. A drainage system will be necessary. Heat lamps for the alligator, who typically will like warm water, will also be important. Food supplies such as fish, rodents, and large insects will be preferred by alligators that are young. Adult alligators need larger food items, with meat products being ideal. Adult alligators will need rabbits, chickens, and other food products. Not feeding an alligator can be a dangerous problem, and it is advised that a food plan is in place before the animal is acquired. Owners may also be asked to provide details of such prior to licensing in states where licensing is required.

Pet Alligator Legal States 2024

  • Potential alligator owners should always confirm legality with local officials. Animal ownership guidelines may change at any time. Moreover, alligators may be legal in a given state but prohibited at the county or city level.
  • For example, alligators are legal to own as pets in Minnesota but prohibited in the Minneapolis area.
  • Some states prohibit the general public from owning alligators and other exotic animals but make exceptions for businesses.
  • For example, Georgia regulations state "Only persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public will be issued a license to possess inherently dangerous animals."

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Pet Alligator Legality
FloridaPermit Required
IndianaPermit Required
New HampshirePermit Required
North DakotaPermit Required
TennesseePermit Required
TexasPermit Required
VirginiaPermit Required
South DakotaLegal
New JerseyIllegal
New MexicoIllegal
New YorkIllegal
North CarolinaIllegal
Rhode IslandIllegal
South CarolinaIllegal
West VirginiaIllegal
showing: 50 rows
  1. Pets banned in Alabama - AL
  2. Have You Seen Something Suspicious? - Phoenix Herpetological Society
  3. State Laws: Private Possession of Exotic Animals - Born Free USA
  4. This Exotic Pet Is Legal in Your State - Pet Helpful
  5. Exotic Animal Laws by State - Find Law
  6. 10 Animals That Are Considered Illegal Pets in Connecticut and New York - Danbury Country Radio
  7. Laws on Exotic Animals for Each State - The Spruce Pets
  8. Exotic Animal Laws by State: A Way to Deter People From Owning Rare and Dangerous Animals - World Animal Foundation
  9. You Can�t Have These Animals As Pets In The State of Idaho - 104.3 Wow Country
  10. Are There Alligators in Idaho? - Travel Safe
  11. Why Alligators Don�t Make Good Pets (and 9 Other Fun Gator Facts) - WTTW News
  12. What Are the Rules for Owning an Exotic Pet in Indiana? - News Talk 1280 WGBF
  13. Are There Alligators in Kansas? - Travel Safe
  14. Pet Laws in Louisiana: Wild or Exotic Animals - Law Library of Louisiana
  15. Wild Animals as Pets - MSPCA-Angell
  16. Is It Legal to Own a Pet Alligator in Michigan? - Mix 95.7 West Michigan
  17. Minnesota Gator - WXPR
  18. Wildwood man finds alligator in backyard, it�s legal to have a pet alligator in Missouri - Ozarks First
  19. Wildlife Captivity License - NC Wildlife
  20. Pets That Are Illegal to Have in North Dakota - US 103.3
  21. Reptile & Amphibian Regulations - Eregulations
  22. Here�s what the law says about owning alligators in PA - Lancaster Online
  23. What pets are banned in West Virginia? - WowK-TV
  24. Association of FIsh and Wildlife Agencies
  25. Reptiles & Amphibians - Prohibited Actions and Protections - Delaware - LIbrary Municode
  26. Rhode Island Reptile and Amphibian Rules and Regulations - RI
  27. South Carolina Reptile & Amphibian Laws, Regulations and Permits - South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  28. West's Wisconsin Statutes Annotated - Animal Law Info