Mississippi law classifies lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards as inherently dangerous to humans and inherently dangerous animals may not be imported, transferred, sold, purchased, or possessed without a permit. Some institutions are exempt from the permit requirement and may possess big cats without a permit, including public zoos, university research facilities, governmental agencies, transient circuses, rehabilitation facilities, and sanctuaries. Permits authorizing possession include the Personal Possession, Breeding, and Exhibiting permit. A Personal Possession permit allows persons in possession of a big cat prior to May 1, 1997 to maintain possession. Additionally, municipalities may enact local ordinances to more strictly regulate big cat private possession.