As far as pets go, most of us will opt for fluffy puppies and kitties; oddly enough though, Florida animal laws allow you to have some pretty exotic animals as your cuddly companions. We've all seen those headlines about people's pet gators escaping, but they aren't the only unexpected wildlife you can keep in the Sunshine State.

Some exotic animals in Class II and Class III categories can be kept as a personal pet; most will require you to have a permit in order to possess them, while others don't, but what you can actually own legally might seriously shock you (they definitely blew our minds!).

Note that Florida law prohibits certain species of animals from being caught and kept from their wild habitat. You must obtain them legally from the proper people and channels.

Wolves, Coyotes, And Jackals

Class II animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

Of course, if you don't think you're up to owning one, you can let them love on you at this Florida animal sanctuary.

Ocelots

Class II animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

Ocelots generally have a tan coat with black spots and stripes.

Giraffe And Okapi

Class II animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

The Okapi is generally much smaller than the African giraffes you know and love, featuring dark coats and striped legs.

Langurs, Douc Langurs, And Howler Monkeys

Class II animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

A few monkey species can be kept as pets in Florida under a Class II animal permit.

Bats

Class III animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

You can see them fly out into the sunset, if you aren't too sure about keeping one at a pet.

Foxes

Class III animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

Owning one is a lot of work so why not get up close and personal with them and wolves at this animal sanctuary?

Sloths

Class III animal

Permit: Required. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

If you're not ready for that kind of responsibility, you can actually pet and feed sloths and rhinos at this Florida park.

Sugar Gliders

Class III animal

Permit: Not required, and they can be purchased in a number of pet shops.

Florida also classifies these animals as squirrels, weirdly enough.

Squirrels

Class III animal

Permit: Not required, except for Grey Squirrels, which require a permit. You can find more information and obtain Florida permit applications here.

Ownable squirrel species include chipmunks, red squirrels, flying squirrels, and more exotic species like Prevost squirrels.

Who knew right? And this is only just a handful of all the exotic pets you can own legally in the state of Florida.

Check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website here for more info.

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