When you think of the state of Pennsylvania, exotic usually isn't the first word to come to mind. But when talking about exotic animals, Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that still allows residents private possession of dangerous, exotic animals.
In fact, the Humane Society of the United States is backing the Senate in a proposed bill that would ban regular people from possessing animals like cougars, cheetahs, jaguars, bobcats, tigers, bears, lions and more in the state of Pennsylvania.
Presently in Pennsylvania, the person possessing the wild animal is within the law if he or she purchases a permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. However, under that law, the animal owner has no obligation to inform neighbors or local schools that such animals are in his or her possession.
Currently through the United States, 29 states have banned (in some form or fashion) the private possession of wild and exotic animals. Eight states (Alabama, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin) do not require the owner to obtain a license or permit to register the animal with state or local authorities to privately possess the animal.
A handful of cities in Pennsylvania do outlaw such private possession. More notably, Philadelphia outlaws people from keeping a wild animal in any place other than a zoo, veterinary hospital or clinic, humane society, circus or facility used for educational or scientific purposes.
This proposed ban, House Bill 1398, is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.