Summary of Law: It is unlawful for persons to introduce exotic animals for private use into Hawaii. Exotic animals include, but are not limited to: Felidae family (lion, leopard, cheetah,); the Canidae family (wolf and coyote); and the Ursidae family (black bear, grizzly bear, and brown bear), etc.
Note: The animals listed within the above regulations are not a complete list of the animals regulated by the state of Hawaii. The listed animals are merely a sampling. For more information, please contact your district office.
B = Ban on private ownership of exotic animals — non-domesticated felines, wolves, bears, reptiles, non-human primates
B* = Partial ban on private ownership of exotic animals — allows ownership of some exotic animals but precludes ownership of the animals listed
L = Requires the “owner” of the exotic animal to obtain a license or permit or to register the animal with state or local authorities to privately possess the animal (excludes states only requiring import permits)
N = The state does not require the “owner” to obtain a license or permit to possess the animal within the state, but may regulate some aspect thereof (i.e. entry permit, veterinary certificate, etc.)
The Hawaii reptile law resources below may require you to do some searching on their site. Some of the reptile laws are general or grouped with other animals, like fish, game or mammals. If the following links don’t bring you directly to an informational page, I suggest searching for the term “Reptile” to see if they have a more comprehensive page or PDF.
- Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Main Site
- Animal Guidelines for Importation to Hawaii
- Reptiles and Amphibians of the Hawaiian Islands
If your links brings you to this site, be sure to search for “Reptiles” in the top right corner. The main page may not display the info.