Which Wild Animals Can Be Kept as Pets in India

Which Wild Animals Can Be Kept as Pets in India. India’s rich biodiversity includes a wide variety of wildlife, from majestic tigers to colorful parrots. While these animals are a source of fascination, it’s essential to understand that not all wild animals can be kept as pets in India. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the legal framework and provide insights into which wild animals can and cannot be kept as pets in India. We will explore the regulations, restrictions, and responsibilities associated with absurd animal ownership to ensure the welfare of animals and their human caretakers.

The Legal Framework for Wild Animal Ownership

Understanding the legal framework for wild animal ownership in India is crucial before discovering which animals can be kept as pets.

  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is the cornerstone of wildlife conservation and protection in India. It categorizes species into various schedules, each with its level of security. While some animals are prohibited from being kept as pets, others may require permits or licenses.
  • The Role of the Central Zoo Authority: The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) oversees the establishment and management of zoos in India. It plays a critical role in regulating the captive breeding and conservation of endangered species.

Wild Animals That Cannot Be Kept as Pets

  • Tigers: India’s iconic big cats, Tigers, are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Keeping tigers as pets is strictly prohibited to prevent their illegal trade and ensure their conservation in the wild.
  • Leopards: Leopards, like tigers, fall under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Their possession as pets is illegal and can have severe legal consequences.
  • Lions: Lions, another charismatic big cat species, are also protected under Schedule I. Owning lions as pets is prohibited due to their endangered status.
  • Elephants: Indian elephants are protected under the I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Their captivity is subject to strict regulations, primarily for religious and cultural purposes. Owning an elephant as a pet is generally not permitted.

Wild Animals That May Be Kept as Pets with Permits

Some wild animals may be kept as pets in India but require permits or licenses to ensure responsible ownership.

  • Parrots and Other Exotic Birds: Exotic birds such as parrots, macaws, and cockatoos can be pets with the necessary permits. The trade and ownership of these birds are regulated to prevent illegal trafficking.
  • Pythons and Other Non-Venomous Snakes: Non-venomous snakes like pythons can be kept as pets with appropriate permits. Ownership of venomous snakes is generally prohibited.
  • Crocodiles and Alligators: Keeping crocodiles and alligators as pets is allowed with permits. However, strict regulations govern their ownership, as these animals can be dangerous.

Common Domesticated Wild Animals

Some wild animals have been domesticated over generations and are now considered domesticated breeds.

  • Dog: Dogs, descendants of wild wolves, are among the most common domesticated animals worldwide. They are legal to own as pets.
  • Cats: Although closely related to wildcats, domestic cats are legal and popular pets in India.
  • Camels: Camels have been domesticated for centuries and are used for various purposes, including transportation and tourism.

Responsible Ownership and Conservation

Regardless of whether a wild animal can be legally kept as a pet, responsible ownership is paramount.

  • Veterinary Care: Provide appropriate veterinary care to ensure the health and well-being of your pet, whether domesticated or requiring permits.
  • Habitat and Diet: Create a suitable habitat and provide the correct diet to meet your pet’s specific needs.
  • Conservation Efforts: Support conservation efforts by not participating in the illegal wildlife trade and raising awareness about protecting wildlife in their natural habitats.


Can I own a monkey as a pet in India?

No, owning monkeys as pets is generally prohibited in India, as they are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Can I own a peacock as a pet in India?

Owning peacocks as pets is subject to state-specific regulations. Some states may allow it, while others may require permits.

Can I keep a turtle as a pet in India?

Turtles are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Ownership may be allowed with permits, depending on the species and specific state regulations.


In conclusion, responsible pet ownership and conservation efforts are essential to balance our fascination with wild animals and the need to protect them in their natural habitats. By respecting wildlife laws and promoting responsible ownership, we can contribute to preserving India’s incredible biodiversity. Understanding which wild animals can be kept as pets in India is essential to ensure the animals’ welfare and compliance with the law. While some wild animals may be kept as pets with permits, others are strictly protected to safeguard their populations in the wild.

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