Florida

Summary: 

Florida law permits private possession of some species of big cats and prohibits private possession of others. It is unlawful to privately possess animals classified as Class I, including snow leopards, leopards, jaguars, tigers, and lions. However, a person in possession of a Class I big cat prior to August 1980 may continue possession with a permit.
It is lawful to possess Class II big cats with a permit issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Class II cats include servals, lynx, cougars, panthers, bobcats, cheetahs, caracals, African golden cats, Asiatic golden cats, fishing cats, ocelots, and clouded leopards. State-run facilities, traveling zoos, circuses, and exhibits are exempt and may possess these big cats without a permit. To obtain a permit, information about the owner’s experience and education in handling big cats must be provided, caging requirements must be met, and public contact must be restricted.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Georgia

Summary: 

Georgia prohibits private possession of big cats. Under Georgia law, it is unlawful to privately possess inherently dangerous animals and big cats are classified as inherently dangerous animals. However, a Scientific Collecting permit holder or a Wildlife Exhibition permit holder may possess a big cat for scientific study, retail wild animal business, or exhibition purposes.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

California

Summary: 

California prohibits private possession of big cats. California law classifies all big cats as restricted species (except cheetahs) and restricted species may not be possessed unless a permit authorizes possession. Permits are issued by the Department of Fish and Game for the following limited circumstances: the Animal Care Permit may be issued to persons in possession of a big cat prior to January, 1992; the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Permit may be issued to AZA-accredited institutions; the Breeding Permit may be issued to individuals with approved breeding plans; the Broker/Dealer Permit may be issued to individuals engaged in the trade of selling big cats; the Exhibiting Permit may be issued to persons engaged in exhibiting animals for commercial or educational purposes; the Research Permit will be issued to state-run agencies and universities to engage in scientific research.

Although each permit has specific requirements, all permits require applicants to be at least 18 years of age, pay a permit fee, provide an inventory of all animals, include a detailed contingency plan should an emergency, like an attack or escape, occur, and describe identifying information about the animal.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Arkansas

Summary: 

Arkansas prohibits private possession of big cats. Arkansas law mandates that no large carnivore, including lions and tigers, may be privately owned because those animals are inherently dangerous to humans.  

There are exceptions to this ban, including a person who owned the big cat prior to August 12, 2005 and now holds a permit, AZA-accredited organizations, registered nonprofit humane societies, veterinary hospitals or clinics, USDA Wildlife Exhibition Permit holders, Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Scientific Collection Permit holders, and Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Breeder or Dealer permit holders.

Classification: 
Ban
Color: 
gray

Alabama

Summary: 

In Alabama, it is lawful to possess big cats. Alabama law places no restrictions on the private possession of big cats. Public display of big cats is permitted only with a permit issued by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources. This twenty-five dollar annual permit allows individuals to possess big cats for the purpose of public display with a showing of adequate facilities, care and handling experience by the applicant, and consent to an inspection of the facilities. Any municipal, county, state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, privately owned traveling zoo or circus or pet shop is exempt from this permit requirement for public display.

Classification: 
No Restriction
Color: 
red

Cougars maul handlers at park

Incident date: 
Thu, 01/24/2002
Date reported: 
Thu, 01/24/2002
Date Published: 
Thu, 01/24/2002 (All day)
City: 
Gentry
State: 
Arkansas
Category: 
Human Injury
Name: 
Cougars maul handlers at park
Headline: 
Cougars maul handlers at park
Summary: 

Two animal handlers were attacked by two tigers at Wild Wilderness Drive Thru Safari.  One of the employees was bitten in the face, while the other suffered bites to his arm and leg.  Both were taken to the hospital.

Publication: 
NewsOK

Nick Sculac/Big Cats of Serenity Springs

Name: 
Nick Sculac/Big Cats of Serenity Springs
Address: 
24615 Scott Road
City: 
Calhan
Zip: 
80808
State: 
Colorado

Arkansas town on edge after four lions killed in woods

Incident date: 
Fri, 09/20/2002
Date reported: 
Fri, 09/20/2002
Date Published: 
Tue, 09/24/2002 (All day)
City: 
Quitman
State: 
Arkansas
Category: 
Escape
Name: 
Arkansas town on edge after four lions killed in woods
Headline: 
Arkansas town on edge after four lions killed in woods
Summary: 

Four African lions were shot in an Arkansas town.  The lions were believed to have belonged to a nearby exotic animal park; however, the park's operator denied the lions were his.

Publication: 
The Gadsden Times
Author: 
Douglas Pils

Never Trust A Tiger

Incident date: 
Mon, 10/20/2003
Date reported: 
Mon, 10/20/2003
Date Published: 
Mon, 10/20/2003 (All day)
City: 
Golden Valley
State: 
Arizona
Category: 
Human Injury
Name: 
Never Trust A Tiger
Headline: 
Never Trust A Tiger
Summary: 

A 500-lb Bengal tiger at Keepers of the Wild animal sanctuary attacked a 21-year-old employee who went to pet him while cleaning his pool.

Publication: 
Time
Author: 
Michael D. Lemonick

Tiger Attacks Woman at Nearby Animal Sanctuary

Incident date: 
Sun, 05/04/2008
Date reported: 
Sun, 05/04/2008
Date Published: 
Sun, 05/04/2008 (All day)
City: 
White Hills
State: 
Arizona
Category: 
Human Injury
Headline: 
Tiger Attacks Woman at Nearby Animal Sanctuary
Summary: 

A woman was attacked by a tiger at an animal sanctuary and the woman was flown to a nearby hospital for treatment. The sanctuary did not report the incident to authorities, but USDA officials discovered the incident had occurred and began an investigation. 

Publication: 
8 News Now
Author: 
Ty Plaskon