Is It Legal to Own a Capybara – Legalities before Owning a Capybara 2024

Being a capybara owner people do ask me if is it legal to own a capybara in their state. Many want to own capybaras as pets, but not every state allows its citizens to own a capybara as pets.

In this blog post, we’ll see what are the states where it is legal to own a capybara and how you can get a capybara to own as pets.

What Is Capybara

Capybaras are affectionate household pets with a weight similar to that of a small dog; about 140 lbs. These cute capybaras are highly sociable and are popularly called giant guinea pigs.

They are known as the largest rodents in the world. Generally, they are bought in pairs as they behave best with a companion capybara.

Before you get yourself a pleasant Capybara and worry about their housing and diet, get permission for their domestication first. The legal status of Capybaras is a location-specific thing.

Capybara – Everything You Need to Know

Life Span of CapybaraAround 8-12 years
Native Place of CapybaraSouth America
Scientific Name of CapybaraHydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Height of Capybara3 to 4 feet
Weight of Capybara170 pounds / 140 lbs

Is It Legal to Own a Capybara?

It is legal to own a capybara in some countries while some countries do not allow their citizens to keep capybaras as a pet.

Before considering capybara ownership, it is essential to research and understand the legal regulations in your area.

Some places may require permits or licenses, while others may have specific guidelines for their care and housing. It is crucial to comply with local laws and regulations to ensure you are legally allowed to keep a capybara as a pet.

Additionally, responsible ownership is vital for the well-being of capybaras and the protection of their natural habitats.

Seeking expert advice and guidance can help you navigate the legal requirements and responsibilities of owning a capybara as a cherished and law-abiding pet.

Why It Is Not Legal to Own Capybaras in Some States?

A major reason why it is not Legal to Own a Capybara in some States is their enormous size which makes them unfit for any place lacking surveillance and an abundance of space. They do well in an environment similar to Zoo.

Also, one of the reasons a Capybara is not permitted to be domesticated is that they are hard to handle in public places when put in comparison with their smaller cousins.

Even if your area does not allow a Capybara pet, things might go in your favor if you proceed to have a one-on-one conversation with the wildlife division cell. Before granting permission for special cases they might want a health certificate.

Capybaras are herbivores so owning them doesn’t mean you are putting your other pets at risk. They feed on grass, aquatic plants, and vegetables.

They make a good candidate for a domestic pet unless they don’t hamper any safety standards.

They don’t usually open up easily with their parents or surroundings. And this is also why a pet capybara might bite or react aggressively if felt to be in some kind of danger. Thus being a threat to normal people they can’t be permitted easily.

Moreover, another explanation for why they’re illegal in some countries can be that they can harm native wildlife.

Pet Capybara Legal States 2024 – Is It Legal to Own a Capybara

  • Reportedly in Texas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, and Tennessee Capybaras are legal to be owned. However, it is strange that they are considered illegal to be raised in five boroughs of New York City.
  • It is bad news for you if you belong to California or Georgia as capybaras are banned. In Florida, Capybaras are listed as Class III wildlife.
  • In the middle and southern regions of America, they are identified as wild species. Capybara pet is a native South American species. The countries where they are found the most are Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina.
  • Capybara domestication is illegal in New Mexico. Though surprisingly it is allowed in its neighboring states such as Arizona and Texas.

Read more here Pet capybara legal states 2024

States in the US where it is not Legal to Own a Capybara:

Places where it is not legal to own a capybara:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

The ban includes most of the endangered species in most of the above-mentioned states.

You can check their prohibited animal official list for more information.

Why and How to Confirm Legalities Before Owning a Capybara?

Think you have a situation where you buy an expensive and exotic pet and would have to return or abandon it on discovering later that it is not legal to be reared in your locality. That would be called a pet owner’s nightmare.

As advised you should consider having a word with the legal authority concerned before breeding or importing a Capybara pet. You can easily find such regulations on the official page in the “Banned Exotic Animal” section.

In most instances, it is legal to own a capybara and the end of some legal processes such as getting a license from your local council.

In a few countries, Capybaras are considered Exotic which is why in such regions they are not permitted to be owned, imported, exported, or sold.

You can file a petition with proper reasoning for why it should be legalized in your area if it isn’t already.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Capybara Pet

Now that you know the places where it is legal to own a capybara. There are some other facets that shouldn’t be overlooked if you are willing to tame a cute capybara.

Native to South America, capybaras are quite intelligent pets. Some beforehand arrangements you can make to welcome these lovable creatures are making a spacious abode and accessible pool for them as they are semi-aquatic by nature. Capybaras are excellent swimmers and possess webbed feet.

Make your mind to bear a hole in your pocket while you raise a capybara pet. They are very expensive being an exotic species in terms of living accommodations, acquisition, licensing, and lifestyle as well.

They hold high emotional intelligence and operational anxiety similar to dogs.

Are Capybaras Mammals

Capybaras are mammals that carry a balance of terrestrial and aquatic characteristics. These social rodents occur in a pack of 100-20 members.

Is It Legal to Own Capybaras

Some of the characteristics of capybaras, you should hear if you want to become a capybara parent are:

  • They are devoid of sweat glands which thus makes them prone to getting sunburns.
  • Thin skin in addition makes it difficult for them in summer.
  • To escape heat they cover themselves in mud in summer.
  • In winter capybaras are good to go with a heat source and hay bed.

If taken care of properly, capybaras make a great pet. The transition in their nature from the Baby capybara stage to the adult capybara stage is something worth witnessing.

To Wrap Up

These cute capybaras have four toes in their front feet but their back feet only have three.  And, there are a lot more interesting things to know about them only if your area’s ownership guidelines allow. To sum up, yes Capybaras are legal to be owned in several areas and are banned in a few.

Frequently Asked Questions

In what states is it legal to own a capybara?

In Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, and Tennessee are legal to be owned

Can I keep a capybara as a pet?

Yes, you can keep a capybara as a pet

Q. What do capybaras eat?

Ans- This is a common question among breeders. Most people due to their banned status suppose Capybaras to be carnivores. They are not carnivores; rather they eat fruits, grass, aquatic plants, and vegetables.

They are advised to chew wood branches to maintain teeth wearing in-process.

Q. What states is it legal to own a capybara?

Ans- In Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, and Tennessee are legal to be owned.

Q. Can I keep a capybara as a pet?

Yes, you can keep a capybara as a pet, but first, get familiar with the legal regulations on exotic animals in your state. Many of the states like Illinois, Georgia, and others mention capybaras as prohibited pets.

Read more:

What is capybara – everything about cute capybaras

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