Exotic Animals as Pets

A Minnesota state law in effect since January 1, 2005 prohibits individuals from purchasing, obtaining, or owning certain exotic animals in MN.

The following are prohibited:

  • All members of the Felidae (cat) family, except domestic cats. Includes lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, ocelots and servals.
  • Bears
  • All nonhuman primates. Includes lemurs, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, organutans, marmosets, lorises, and tamarins.
  • Any hybrid cross between an animal listed above and a domestic animal, as well as offspring from all subsequent generations of those crosses or hybrids.


Those owning the above animals prior to January 1, 2005, may keep them, but must register them with their local animal control authority and must comply with certain regulatory standards.