Capybaras are the largest rodents that are native to South America. If you live in Illinois and want to own a capybara as a pet you need to know if is it legal to own capybaras in Illinois.
Can You Have a Capybara as a Pet in Illinois
Being a capybara owner for more than 5 years, people ask me if is it legal to own capybaras in Illinois as the state has strict laws regarding animal rights and welfare.
Only Arizona, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, and Tennessee allow people to keep Capybaras as pets.
Not just capybaras but also other exotic pets are not legal to own in Illinois. You can consider other animals like guinea pigs which are also very cute and good for beginners as well.
Why it is not Legal to Own Capybaras in Illinois
It is not legal to own capybaras in Illinois due to these reasons
- The state gives the Department of Natural Resources the power to prohibit or limit the possession, importation, and release into the wild, sale, and propagation of wild mammals and wild birds.
- The protection of species in Section 2.2 of the act is implemented to reduce the risk of infectious diseases, nuisances, and damages to wild or domestic species.
- The other reasons that it is prohibited to own a capybara in the state are to reduce the risks of communicable diseases, nuisances, and damages to the wild, agricultural crops, and property.
- Some US states have created a regular hybrid of domestic and wild animals, as in some states, wild animals cannot be kept as pets.
Every state in the US has exotic animal laws that allow, restrict, or prohibit the ownership of certain animal species. Animal laws also vary depending on the city and country ordinances.
How Can You Own Capybaras in Illinois
It is almost impossible to own capybaras in Illinois as the state has strict laws related to wild animals but still, if you are very fond of capybaras you need to obtain a special permit or capybaras license from the administrator.
You need to contact Fish and Wildlife departments in the state to obtain a license to own capybaras in Illinois. But as already stated it is almost impossible to own capybaras, it may be allowed in some special cases.
You can visit the zoo in Illinois to meet capybaras and play with them.
Things to Consider Before Buying Capybara
Owning a capybara is a highly complex process as it is a very exotic animal. In addition to the enormous purchase costs, the license and maintenance costs will be very high.
Some states even have a third-party processor that deals with permitting the possession of wild animals. The owners can also get the information and keep a capybara safe at home.
These animals can grow as large as 140 pounds, and they will need a diet that can sustain their weight and nutritional needs.
It is a diet that is typically very high in protein, and they can eat much of the same meat as humans.
These animals require water and land to thrive and many will need a water component to live in or use it for swimming.
These animals do not tolerate the chemicals in a chlorinated pool. However, they can enjoy saltwater pools. They can swim for hours and stay submerged for up to five minutes.
They have webbed feet and eyes and it helps them swim and survive and their nostrils are uniquely shaped. All these features help them survive in the wetlands.
To Wrap Up
Capybaras are friendly with wild animals and they are very easy to take care of. Most pet capybaras love being cuddled by their favorite humans. They need special housing, companionship, and food to enjoy life to the fullest in captivity.
Capybaras are highly social, and they love being in groups. People want to own them but unfortunately, it is not legal to own capybaras in Illinois and you need to look for other options.