The 9 Animals You Can't Keep as Pets in the USA


Even though bear pups are adorable, mature bears are massive omnivores with erratic personalities.

Big Cats

Their enormous size, sharp claws, and strong jaws pose a threat to even skilled handlers.

Exotic Non-human Primates

Exotic primates, such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, are highly gregarious and intellectual animals that need lots of space, specialized care, and enrichment activities to survive.

Venomous Snakes

Dealing with venomous snakes is dangerous by nature, even for experienced handlers with considerable training. One bite has the potential to be lethal or seriously sickening.


These formidable jaws and a voracious appetite characterize these apex predators from the reptile kingdom.

Wolves and Wolf Hybrids

Wolves are gregarious creatures with keen senses of hunting. Not only does keeping them in captivity put their safety at risk, but it also messes with their natural social tendencies.

Sugar Gliders

These adorable Australian nocturnal marsupials might look like cuddly friends, but they're not the best pets due to their sensitive bodies and particular dietary requirements.


It is forbidden to keep hedgehogs as pets in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, and Hawaii.


These Australian marsupials are gregarious grazers that need plenty of room to move about and graze.