Weird legal animals to own in Missouri

Avery FitzSimmons, Staff Reporter

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Lots of unique pets seem to be more popular in different states. Missouri has ferrets, small flexible creatures that scare and delight people. You can own many unique animals that people typically don’t think you can legally own.

Granted, rules do apply to this, such as having to register the animal or having a permit. These rules also differ depending on the animal. For example, owning a lion is not as difficult as owning a python, both of which are legal to own in Missouri.

One would just have to buy the said animal, register it or get a permit, and potentially have the animal tested for diseases. The animals that do not require a permit include capybaras, hyacinth macaw, and fennec fox.

But bigger, dangerous animals, such as lions, tigers, bears, wolves and coyotes do require permits. When registering certain animals, it’s important to note that one might have to pay a fee. Keep in mind that these restrictions vary from county to county.

People in the St. Louis area can only own four animals that are prohibited in the city. This includes typical household animals such as dogs, cats, birds and pigs. Animals that are not included are fish, small lizards and small rodents, such as guinea pigs, mice or rats. Some of the exotic animals that are prohibited in the St.Louis Area are gorillas, caiman, alligators, crocodiles, and any venomous snake or any reptile over eight feet in length.

There are still some animals that haven’t been covered. These animals are harder to obtain because while you can pay the fee for them, obtain the permit, and have a perfect place for them to live, the state still might not let you. One example of an animal you cannot own is a penguin. Because all eighteen species of penguins are protected, it’s unlikely you’ll see someone living with them. A bengal cat, while it might be lazy and domestic, is an animal you cannot own, according to Wildlife Services, because it is a hybrid.

To find more information as to which animals you can or cannot own in the state of Missouri or the rules as to what is required to obtain different animals, look at the Animal Legal and Historical Center and the Animal Law information website.