Michigan prohibits private ownership of big cats. No person may privately own a lions, leopards, jaguars, tigers, cougars, panthers, cheetah, or hybrid unless the person possessed the big cat prior to July 7, 2000. In that case, the person may continue ownership with a permit that requires adequate enclosures and consent to examinations by State accredited veterinarians.
This prohibition does not apply to AZA-accredited zoos, sanctuaries accredited by the American Sanctuary Association, or exhibitors whose primary function is public education. Exhibitors must not allow direct contact with the public, refrain from breeding, and they must meet training, housing, care, and transportation standards.