Last week, we covered the topic of how many dogs an Illinois resident is legally allowed to have hanging around the house (read up on it here), so as a natural extension of that sort of thing, today we'll look at what animals you, as an Illinoisan, are prohibited from having as a pet.

Some, if not most of Illinois' forbidden pets are forbidden for very good reasons. Chief among them would be that the majority would love to kill and/or eat you. I don't know about you, but I really don't want something lurking around the joint with designs on taking me out (family not included).

Lioness in the zoo biting human finger
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Here's What Illinois Law Says About "Exotic" And "Non-Domesticated" Animals As Pets

According to a piece at, our state's position is this:

No person may harbor, care for, act as a custodian, or maintain in his possession any "dangerous animals" or primate except at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit, circus, scientific institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital or animal refuge... Persons who had lawful possession of a primate before Jan. 1, 2011, from continuing to possess that primate if the person registers the animal by providing written notification to the local animal control administrator on or before April 1, 2011. There are no state requirements for a person possessing other exotic species not defined as "dangerous animals."

As you'll see, Illinois doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room on what you can have for pets. Weirdly enough, if you've just gotta have a few snapping turtles for companionship, you can have up to four of them. You're also allowed to catch and keep up to 16 bullfrogs.

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Getty Images
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Here's The List Of Animals That Will Get You In Trouble With The State Of Illinois

(With a hat-tip to

  • Bears
  • Lions
  • Tigers
  • Leopards
  • Ocelots
  • Jaguars
  • Cheetahs
  • Margays
  • Cougars
  • Lynx
  • Bobcats
  • Jaguarundis
  • Wolves
  • Coyotes
  • Hyenas
  • Venomous medically significant reptiles
  • Flying fox
  • Mongoose
  • Meerkats
  • European rabbits
  • Indian wild hogs
  • Multimammate rats or mice
  • Raccoon dogs
  • Rosy pastors
  • Doiches
  • Java sparrows
  • Red-whiskered bul-buls
  • Snakeheads
  • Walking catfish
  • Ruffes
  • Silver carp
  • Bighead carp
  • Black carp
  • Round and tubenose gobies
  • Rudds (except Paul, if he needed a place to stay)
  • Stone morokos
  • Zanders
  • Wels catfish
  • Yabbies
  • Zebra mussels
  • Mitten crabs
  • Rusty crayfish
  • Filler shrimp
  • Golden mussels
  • Brown tree snakes

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

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