Our puppy seems to act a little wild sometimes, much like our teenagers. After thinking that perhaps we ended up not with a puppy but some sort of other wild animal, it made me wonder. Can you own wild animals in Colorado?

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I specifically wondered if you could own an elephant in our state. Not that I would want to own one, but could you if you wanted to?

Domestic Animals You Can Own in Colorado

In Colorado, it is legal to own domestic animals. While domestic animals are not regulated by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, they must comply with certain regulations of the state agriculture and health departments. Domestic animals, of course, include cats and dogs, cattle, horses, and chickens. Did you know that the domestic animals list also includes ostrich, alpaca, and reindeer?

However, it is illegal to own wildlife, in general, in Colorado.

Wildlife You Can Own in Colorado

The DOW also has a category of species listed as Unregulated Wildlife – they are legal to own, import, or sell, and you do not need a license to have one. However, there are federal, state, and local laws you must follow to own one of these. In Colorado, you can own tropical birds, including parrots. Some species of frogs, toads, and lizards are allowed too. If, however, you want to own an alligator, you are required to obtain a commercial wildlife park license.

Other Animals You Can Own in Colorado

There are other animals that you can have as a pet, but you must obtain a license from the state. Elk are considered alternative livestock. Believe it or not, some other mammals that are legal to own in Colorado include:

Sugar Gliders – think of a palm-sized possum, that can glide through the air much like a flying squirrel.

Three different species of wallabies, which are similar to a small kangaroo, but not kangaroos at all.

Wallaroos, also similar to kangaroos, are allowed with a license. Evidently, wallaroo males can weigh approximately 120 pounds.

Red kangaroos, (species of Macropus Rufus), are also allowed in Colorado. According to the animal diversity website, they are the largest living marsupial.

According to the Animalia website, a red kangaroo can have a lifespan between 16 and 23 years, weigh between 40 and almost 200 pounds, jump as high as six feet, and can reach a top speed of 35 mph. It’s a large, and quick animal with solid legs, much like our puppy. I’ll stick with the puppy. I don’t think a kangaroo would fit through our dog door.

Back to my original question about owning an elephant. According to a quick phone call to the DOW, it is illegal to own an elephant in Colorado, but evidently, you can own an elephant in Nevada.

Can you legally own an elephant in Colorado?

Gallery Credit: Bee/Canva

Exotic Pets You Can Own in Colorado

From alpacas to kangaroos, here are the exotic pets that you can own in Colorado.

Animals truly are the best thing ever, it's amazing how they show us, unconditional love. There are surprisingly lots of exotic animals that you're legally allowed to own here in Colorado.

Gallery Credit: Alicia Selin

39 Colorado Animals You May Run Into

A large variety of wildlife is just one of the many perks of living in Colorado. Check out this list and count how many of these animals you've seen in person.

Gallery Credit: Toni Gee, TSM

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