Antlions may not be everyone’s first choice for a pet, but they are legal to own. Many insect enthusiasts keep them as pets to observe their fascinating hunting techniques. Also called doodlebugs, antlions create circular patterns in the sand, where they dig small pits to trap prey such as ants. The insects transition fully into their winged forms by ages two or three.
Sadly, antlions live only for three weeks after the transition. Owners must create perfect antlion habitats inside a safe, ventilated container. The more sand and substrates, the better!
Aquatic creatures are other-worldly any day. Bring an Elephantnose fish into the mix, and things get doubly mesmerizing. First, they possess trunk-like mouth extensions for feeding, communicating, and fighting off predators. Second, the fish senses murky surroundings using an electrical field. Superpowers, much? Due to their specific water requirements, Elephantnose fish are rare to find in most aquariums.
They need expert care and a relentless commitment to providing top-quality habitats and water. Sounds like you? This unique freshwater fish will up your aquarium game! There are no laws banning their sale and purchase in the U.S.
Victoria Crowned Pigeons
Wait, is that majestic bird a pigeon? It’s not unusual for people to do a double take around the Victoria Crowned Pigeon. These striking birds look like they mean business. But they are actually gentle and relatively easy to tame.
Victoria Crowned Pigeons are ground pigeons that spend most of their time running rather than flying. Bird keepers must have extensive room so these beautiful birds can get enough exercise. They have been bred in captivity for centuries but are hard to come by in the United States.
Pet owls are rare to find and with good reason. They might seem cute, cuddly, and friendly thanks to popular culture and now Instagram, but in reality, owls are not suited to domesticated life. All owls are lone hunters that prefer keeping their distance from humans.
Most people don’t have enough resources or knowledge to care for an owl. These birds require a diet of whole rodents every day. Be careful not to piss one off. They will bite! For these reasons and more, keeping captive owls in the United States is illegal without special permits.
Owning an alligator is surprisingly legal in several U.S. states. But on the off-chance you’re considering keeping one as a pet – we personally would not recommend it. Most enthusiasts fall in love with tiny baby gators – harmless and adorable at less than a foot in length. But they grow into adult alligators over 11 feet that live up to 50 years.
They can also weigh 1000 pounds and eat almost a fourth of their body weight in meat. Any meat (even unsuspecting pet owners) will do. Unless you intend to keep one in a zoo or sanctuary – it’s in their best interest (and yours) to admire alligators from afar.