A domestic pet can bring a lot of joy to your life, but some people are more interested in animals that have a wilder side. From monkeys to tigers and even lynxes, exotic pets can add a special touch to your household. While they require more care than a house cat or dog, these creatures can bring a whole new level of satisfaction to your life. They have also been shown to improve health and even lengthen your lifespan. However, you must be prepared to dedicate a great deal of time and resources to the well-being of these animals, and you may need a permit in order to own them.

It can be shocking to find out that some of the most popular animals you might consider for a pet are illegal in California. For instance, alligators and crocodiles are not permitted in the state because they pose risks to native wildlife and agricultural areas. The same goes for bats, which can carry diseases and require a specialized environment and diet to be healthy. It is also illegal to keep primates as pets, including monkeys like Justin Bieber’s former capuchin named Mally.

In addition to these animals, it is not legal to own gerbils, which are known to reproduce rapidly and can cause irreparable damage to the environment if they escape. It is also against the law to own any animal species that poses a risk to livestock, agriculture or public safety, including all members of the Equidae family (horses, donkeys and zebras), pigs, goats, mongooses, pygmy goats, yaks, raccoons and African clawed frogs.