Can You Own a Capybara in Tennessee in 2024 – Is It Legal

Many want to have capybaras as pets but can you own a capybara in Tennessee is the question many ask me.

Being a capybara owner, I frequently get this question as capybaras have gained immense popularity in the recent past.

In this article, we will understand if is it legal to own a capybara in Tennessee, and if yes then how can you have it and if there is any license or permit required. Let’s delve into the regulations and requirements to determine if you can own a capybara in the state of Tennessee.

Can You Own a Capybara in Tennessee?

Yes, it is legal to own capybaras in Tennessee, provided the owner should follow the state’s regulations and requirements.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) oversees the ownership of exotic animals, including capybaras. To legally own a capybara in Tennessee, individuals must obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the TWRA.

These permits ensure that owners possess the required knowledge and experience to care for these unique creatures.

Own a Capybara in Tennessee

Additionally, owners must meet facility standards set by the TWRA to ensure the capybaras have suitable housing and access to proper nutrition and hydration.

Regular veterinary care is also essential to maintain the health and well-being of capybaras, making it crucial for owners to prioritize their medical needs.”

However, it’s important to note that just because they are legal to own doesn’t mean they are suitable as pets for everyone. Capybaras have specific needs and requirements that potential owners must be prepared to meet.

Requirements for Owning Capybaras in Tennessee.

As you know now that you can own a capybara in Tennessee but you need to fulfil some requirements. Lets understand what are those requirements:

Permits and Licenses:

  • If you want to own a capybara in Tennessee you are required to obtain the appropriate permits and licenses from the TWRA.
  • This process helps ensure that owners understand the responsibilities associated with owning an exotic animal and have the necessary knowledge to provide for their welfare.

Facility Standards:

  • Owners must provide adequate housing and facilities for capybaras that meet the standards set by the TWRA.
  • These standards aim to ensure that capybaras have enough space, appropriate environmental conditions, and access to food and water.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Prospective capybara owners in Tennessee must demonstrate their knowledge and experience in handling and caring for these animals.
  • This requirement helps ensure that owners have the necessary expertise to provide proper care and prevent any potential risks associated with owning exotic animals.

Veterinary Care:

  • Capybaras, like any other pets, require regular veterinary care.
  • Owners must be prepared to provide appropriate medical attention and vaccinations to keep their capybaras healthy.


  • The TWRA may require potential owners to undergo educational programs or workshops to learn about capybara care, handling, and behavior.
  • These programs aim to enhance owners’ understanding of their responsibilities and promote the well-being of the animals.

These are the requirements to own a capybara in Tennessee and I believe its good to fulfil these requirements because its not just about owning them but it is a responsibility and you should give your pet good life.

How to Get a Capybara Permit in Tennessee

If you’re interested to own a capybara in Tennessee as a pet, it’s important to understand the process of obtaining a permit.

In this guide, we will provide a simplified step-by-step approach to help you navigate the permitting process and legally own a capybara in Tennessee.

  • Reach out to the TWRA to gather specific information regarding the requirements for owning a capybara in Tennessee. Visit their website, call their office, or schedule an appointment to speak with a representative.
  • Obtain a permit application from the TWRA and fill it out accurately. Provide details about yourself, including personal information and proof of Tennessee residency. Include information about the capybara you plan to own, such as its source, health records, and the intended enclosure.
  • Submit supporting documents along with your application, such as proof of liability insurance coverage and any relevant experience or training in exotic animal care. Include a detailed plan for the capybara’s enclosure, enrichment, and veterinary care arrangements.
  • Allow the TWRA time to review your application. Be prepared to provide additional information if requested. The review process may take some time, so be patient and promptly respond to any inquiries.
  • If approved, you will receive a permit from the TWRA. Carefully read and understand any conditions or restrictions outlined in the permit. Ensure compliance with all regulations, including facility standards, veterinary care, and reporting requirements.

You should not neglect of having a permit if you really want to own a capybara in Tennessee as it is for the safety of your pet and you as well. There are many state in the US that requires its citizen to have a permit if they want to own an exotic pet.

Potential Challenges and Considerations While Owning a Capybara in Tennessee

Its time now to understand the responsibilities if you want to own a capybara in Tennessee as a pet. Its not that difficult to get a capybara but it important that you provide a good life to your pet as well.

Space Requirements:

  • Capybaras are large animals that require ample space to roam and explore. They are semi-aquatic creatures and need access to water for swimming and cooling down.
  • Ensuring you have adequate space and the necessary facilities to accommodate a capybara is essential.

Social Needs:

  • Capybaras are highly social animals and thrive in groups. In the wild, they live in large herds where they engage in social interactions and grooming behaviors.
  • Therefore, if you’re considering owning a capybara, it’s recommended to have more than one, as solitary confinement can lead to loneliness and stress for these social creatures.

Diet and Nutrition:

  • If you want to own a capybara in Tennessee you need to understand that capybaras have Capybaras have specific dietary needs that must be met for their optimal health.
  • Their diet consists mainly of grasses and vegetation, with a requirement for a high-fiber intake.
  • It’s crucial to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of fresh greens, hay, and specialized capybara pellets, which are available from reputable exotic pet suppliers.

Temperature and Climate:

  • Capybaras are native to South America, where they inhabit warm and tropical regions. It’s important to provide them with an environment that mimics their natural habitat.
  • This includes maintaining a suitable temperature range, usually between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius), and providing access to shade and water for swimming and cooling down.

Perpetual Care and Time Commitment:

  • Capybaras are not low-maintenance pets. They require daily care, including feeding, cleaning their enclosure, and providing mental and physical stimulation.
  • Additionally, capybaras can live up to 12 years in captivity, so potential owners should be prepared for a long-term commitment to their care and well-being.

Interaction and Handling:

  • While capybaras are generally docile and friendly animals, it’s important to handle them with care and respect.
  • They have sharp teeth and can deliver a strong bite if they feel threatened or stressed. It’s crucial to learn proper handling techniques and establish a bond of trust with your capybara to ensure a safe and enjoyable interaction.

Legal Consequences of Non-Compliance:

  • Failure to comply with the regulations and requirements set forth by the TWRA can lead to legal consequences.
  • This may include fines, confiscation of the animal, or even criminal charges. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements to avoid any legal issues.

These are all the responsibilities that you need to consider if you want to own a capybara in Tennessee.

To Wrap Up

Now you must have got your answer to can you own a capybara in Tennessee as a pet but with certain regulations and requirements imposed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Potential owners must obtain the appropriate permits and licenses, provide suitable housing and facilities, demonstrate knowledge and experience in capybara care, and ensure proper veterinary care.

While owning a capybara can be a rewarding experience, it requires dedication, time, and resources to meet their specific needs.

Always prioritize the well-being and welfare of these fascinating creatures and ensure compliance with the law to provide them with a safe and enriching environment.

Read More:

Can You Own a Capybara in Wisconsin – Everything You Need to Know

Can You Own a Capybara in Massachusetts – Is It Legal

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