Florida State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals
(1) The commission hereby establishes the following categories of wildlife:
(a) Class 1:
- Chimpanzees (genus Pan)
- Gorillas (genus Gorilla)
- Gibbons (genus Hylobates)
- Drills and mandrills (genus Mandrillus)
- Orangutans (genus Pongo)
- Baboons (genus Papaio)
- Siamangs (genus Symphalangus)
- Gelada baboons (genus Theropithecus)
- Snow leopards (Panthera uncia)
- Leopards (Panthera pardus)
- Jaguars (Panthera onca)
- Tigers (Panthera tigris)
- Lions (Panthera leo)
- Bears (family Ursidae)
- Rhinoceros (family Rhinocerotidae)
- Elephants (family Elephantidae)
- Hippopotamuses (family Hippopotamidae)
- Cape buffalos (Syncerus caffer caffer)
- Crocodiles (except dwarf and Congo) (family Crocodilidae)
- Gavials (family Gavialidae)
- Black caimans (Melanosuchus niger)
- Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis)
(b) Class II:
- Howler monkeys (genus Alouatta)
- Uakaris (genus Cacajao)
- Mangabeys (genus Cercocebus)
- Guenons (genus Ceropithecus)
- Bearded sakis (genus Chiropotes)
- Guereza monkeys (genus Colobus)
- Celebes black apes (genus Colobus)
- Idris (genus Indri)
- Macaques (genus Macaca)
- Langurs (genus Presbytis)
- Douc langurs (genus Pygathrix)
- Snub-nosed langurs (genus Phinopithecus)
- Proboscis monkeys (genus Nasalis)
- Servals (Leptailurus serval)
- European and Canadian lynx (Lynx lynx)
- Cougars, panthers (Puma concolor)
- Bobcats (Lynx rufus)
- Cheetahs (Acinonyx jabatus)
- Caracals (Caracal caracal)
- African golden cats (Profelis aurata)
- Temminck's golden cats (Profelis temmincki)
- Fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrina)
- Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis)
- Clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa)
- Coyotes (Canis latrans)
- Gray wolves (Canis lupus) (including wolf x domestic hybrids which are 25 percent or less
- Red wolves (Canis niger) (including wolf x domestic hybrids which are 25 percent or less
- Asiatic jackals (Canis aureus)
- Black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas)
- Side-striped jackals (Canis adustus)
- Indian dholes (Cuon alpinus)
- African hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus)
- Wolverines (Gulo gulo)
- Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis)
- American badgers (Taxides taxus)
- Old World badgers (Meles meles)
- Binturongs (Arctictis binturong)
- Hyenas (all species) (family Hyaenidae)
- Dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis)
- Alligators, cainans (except American alligator) (family Alligatoridae)
- Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
- Cassowary (Casuarius spp.)
(c) Class III: All other wildlife not listed herein, except those for which a permit is not required pursuant to rule 68A-6.0022, F.A.C.
(2) Except as provided in s. 68A-6.0021, Class I wildlife shall not be possessed for personal use.
(3) Persons possessing any captive wildlife for purposes of public display or sale shall obtain a permit as specified in s. 372.921, F.S.
(4) Persons possessing Class II wildlife as personal use wildlife shall purchase a permit as provided in s. 372.922, F. S.
(5) Persons possessing Class III wildlife as personal use wildlife shall obtain a no-cost permit from the Executive Director American alligators shall not be possessed as personal use wildlife and shall be possessed only in accordance with permits issued under rule 68A-9.002, F.A.C., ss. 372.6673 or372.921, Florida Statutes.
(1) Any Class I wildlife possessed for personal use on August 1, 1980, shall be eligible for a permit in accordance with the provisions for Class II wildlife. No other Class I wildlife shall be kept for personal use.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to buy, sell, or transfer any wildlife to or from an unpermitted entity within Florida. The recipient's name, address and the permit or license number if required shall be entered in the transferer's records and made available for inspection upon request of commission employees for a period of one year after the transfer.
(3) Persons possessing Class I wildlife for personal use shall comply with all provisions of this chapter relating to the personal use of wildlife.
(1) Permits to possess wildlife in captivity, issued pursuant to ss. 372.921 or 372.922, F.S., and the provisions of the Chapter, shall authorize the keeping of captive wildlife, of the type and number specified in applications approved by the Commission, in accordance with law and Commission rules. Captive wildlife maintained under permit shall, unless other vise authorized, be maintained only at the facility specified in the permit application and approved by the Commission.
(2) No permit shall be required to possess the following wildlife for personal use, unless possession of a species is otherwise regulated by other rules of the Commission:
(a) Reptiles, amphibians (nonvenomous, unprotected)
(b) Gerbils, hedgehogs
(c) Honey possums, sugar gliders, brushtailed possums
(d) Shell parakeets
(e) Rats and mice
(g) Moles; shrews
(i) Squirrels; chipmunks
(j) Ferrets (domestic; European)
(l) Guinea pigs
(q) Myna birds
(s) Doves; ringed, ruddy, and diamond
(t) Button quail
(u) Prairie dogs
(3) No permit shall be required for the sale of poultry, hamsters, guinea pigs, domestic rats and mice, gerbils, or chameleons (Anolis).
(4) No permit shall be issued to any person to possess Class in wildlife for personal use unless such person can provide documentation of the following:
(a) Be 16 years of age or older.
(b) Application for permits to possess Class III shall include the satisfactory completion of a questionnaire developed by the Commission that assesses the applicants knowledge of general husbandry, nutritional, and behavioral characteristics. Applicants for permits to possess capuchin, spider, or woolly monkeys shall meet the experience and examination requirements for Class II primates and shall maintain such wildlife in cages or enclosures which meet the structural requirements as specified in Rule 68A-6.003 (2)(e), F.A.C.
(c) Be able to provide satisfactory caging facilities as required in the standard caging requirements, Rule 68A-6.004, F.A.C., within 30 days of notification of tentative approval for a permit
(d) Ensure that the conditions under which the wildlife will be held shall not constitute a threat to the public or to the animal.
(5) Qualification requirements for a permit to possess Class I and II wildlife:
(a) All applicants shall qualify for permits as follows:
- Age Requirement: Applicants to possess Class I or Class II wildlife shall be at least 18 years of age.
- Applicants shall not have been convicted of any violation of captive wildlife regulations, any offense involving the illegal commercialization of wildlife, or offenses involving cruelty to animals, within three (3) years of the date of application.
- Experience Requirement for Class I permits:
- Applicants shall demonstrate no less than one (1) year of substantial practical experience (to consist of no less than 1000 hours) in the care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species for which the permit is sought, or other species, within the same biological order (except ratites which shall be in the same biological sub-order) which are substantially similar in size, characteristics, care and nutritional requirements to the species for which the permit is sought.
- For purposes of demonstrating compliance, applicants shall submit documentation of such experience, including:
- A description of the specific experience acquired.
- The dates the experience was obtained and the specific location(s) where acquired.
- References of no less than two (2) individuals having personal knowledge of the applicant's stated experience. Additional documentation may include records of prior permits for the keeping of captive wildlife, employment records, and any other competent documentation of the requisite experience.
- Documented educational experience in zoology or other relevant biological sciences, obtained at the college or technical school level or above, may substitute for up to six months or 500 hours of the required experience.
- Experience and examination requirements for Class II permits:
- Applicants may qualify for a permit for Class II wildlife by documenting one year of experience (to consist of no less than 1000 hours) as defined in 68A-6.0022 (5)(a)3.a. - c. above. If the applicant is unable to document such experience, as an alternative, the applicant may take a written examination. The successful completion of a written examination for the particular species or family, administered by the Division of Law Enforcement together with the documentation of not less than 100 hours of substantial practical experience (with documentation and compliance procedures as noted in 68A-6.0022 (5)(a)3. above) in the care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species or family for which the permit is sought may be substituted for the one-year/1,000-hour requirement. Upon receipt of an application, the Commission shall notify the applicant of the time and place of the next examination. Applicants scoring at least 80 percent correct on the examination shall be deemed as meeting the examination requirement for the particular species or family.
- The above requirements shall not apply to applicants for permits to possess ostriches, rheas, emus, cassowaries or coyotes when possessed for purposes other than public exhibition or personal use.
- Facility Requirements:
- Applicants for permits to possess wildlife in captivity shall specify the location of the facility at which captive wildlife shall be maintained, and such facility shall be inspected and approved by the Commission prior to issuance of the permit.
- Applicants shall submit documentation verifying that the construction of the facility, its cages and enclosures is not prohibited by county ordinance and, if willing a municipality, municipal ordinance.
- Class I wildlife shall not be possessed in multi-unit dwellings or in any premises consisting of less than one-quarter acre of land area. Class II wildlife shall not be possessed in multi-unit dwellings unless the dwelling in which they are housed is equipped with private entrance, exit, and yard area.