While the thought of having a pet monkey or big cat sounds like you'd be living your best life, if you live in New Jersey, you might want to think again.

Listen, I have one particular VIVID childhood memory my mom still teases me about to this day. It's the story of how I came home from school one February afternoon to find a swimming pool being dug in my backyard. While most kids would have been jumping for joy that they were getting an in-ground pool, I cried. It was at that moment I knew we'd never have room for a pet tiger.


Animals That Are Illegal to Own as Pets in New Jersey

But it's dreams like mine that get some exotic pet owners in trouble in the Garden State. Maybe you thought it would be totally cool to adopt that baby raccoon that's always hanging around your trash or play Steve 'The Crocodile Hunter' Irwin in your own bathtub.

'Bambi' Movie
Walt Disney Studios/iMDb

That deer that visits your yard and takes apple slices out of your hands? Don't offer it a permanent place to stay.

But those are just some of the animals that are actually illegal to own in New Jersey. There are a bunch more in the photo gallery below.

FYI, as I was researching for this story, a big bubble of searches like 'where to buy a tiger in New Jersey' and 'who sells monkeys in NJ' came up. Ug.

'Outbreak' Movie Monkey
Warner Bros./iMDb

P.S. There are plenty of shelter animals throughout New Jersey that need good homes and are LEGAL to own as pets. Don't waste your time or money on trying to domesticate the Outbreak monkey or any of these other animals.

12 Animals That Are Illegal to Own as Pets in New Jersey

They are cute, interesting, and some are even the stuff of fairytales. But if you're thinking about taking one of these animals for a pet, think again. It's illegal in New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Heather DeLuca

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