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Can You Own a Capybara In Wisconsin?

Can You Own a Capybara In Wisconsin

With the growing trend and popularity of capybaras in recent years, almost everyone wants to own a capybara.


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Several countries such as Canada and China permit capybara ownership. Likewise, it is legal to keep a pet capybara in certain states and cities in the United States of America. If you live in Wisconsin and you want to know if you can keep or own a capybara, you are in the right place.

As a matter of fact, Wisconsin is a state in the USA where many exotic animals are legally permitted to be owned as pets. The state of Wisconsin allows its residents to keep some of the world’s most dangerous animals, including the tiger and lion.

Other states in the US that allow residents to own any animal they want as pets include North Carolina, South Carolina, Nevada, and Alabama.


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Capybaras are exotic pets but not as dangerous and threatening as lions and tigers. On the contrary, they are chilled, calm, social, and friendly with humans and other animals in their environment.

In this guide, we will see the requirements and steps to own a capybara In Wisconsin. At the end of this guide, you should understand the Wisconsin wildlife laws and know what to do to buy your pet capybara.

What To Know About Owning a Capybara

names to call your capybara

Acquiring a capybara is an extremely serious and complicated process just like owning any exotic animal. Outside the capybara’s price, other costs such as license costs and maintenance costs can make it expensive for one to own a capybara.

In the United States, licensing can be obtained through the Fish and Wildlife departments in most states. However, some states use a third-party processor that deals with the issuance of permits for the possession of wild or exotic animals. Potential capybara owners can get all the information needed to acquire, own, and safely keep a capybara in their custody.

Capybaras are heavy eaters; they have a voracious appetite, which causes them to gain weight and grow in size. Most capybaras in the wild grow as large as 140 pounds or more.

So if you must keep a capybara in your home, be sure to pay attention to its nutrition needs. The capybara diet must be rich in protein and vitamins.

Prospective Capybara owners should ensure the rodents are kept in spacious areas and must have a pool of water close by. The essence of a water component is for the capybara to submerge itself to cool its body temperature and have fun in the water.

Keep in mind that the capybars do not tolerate the presence of harsh chemicals in a chlorinated pool but will enjoy swimming in saltwater pools.

Capybaras have a set of unique webbed feet that help them swim with ease. Also, they can swim and stay submerged underwater for lengthy periods.

Providing a pool for your capybara will make it happy and comfortable. If you have a pool already, see why putting oranges in your capybara’s bathing water is a good idea.

We have prepared the table below showing the legal status of keeping a capybara in several states in the U.S. Do check for your state to know if it permits capybara ownership.

New HampshireLegal
New JerseyLegal
New MexicoLegal
North CarolinaLegal
North DakotaLegal
Rhode IslandLegal
South CarolinaLegal
South DakotaLegal
West VirginiaLegal

How To Own a Capybara in Wisconsin

Can a capybara love you

The laws and regulations of Wisconsin allow the ownership of capybaras. Apart from the capybara, it is legal to own many exotic animals in Wisconsin.

You can own any exotic animal of your choice without licenses or permits in Wisconsin. Other states in the US that have similar laws about keeping exotic animals as pets are Nevada, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

In this section, you will discover the requirements for purchasing and owning a capybara in Wisconsin.

1. Know The Wisconsin Wildlife Laws

Before a capybara or any exotic animal in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the Wisconsin wildlife laws.

Fortunately, the wildlife laws in the state allow residents to own and keep life-threatening pets like tigers and lions. This makes it easy peasy for Wisconsin residents to keep any exotic animal of their choice in their custody.

The Wisconsin wildlife laws have come under strong criticism and backlash in recent years due to their leniency, as they allow individuals to own and keep wild animals as pets with little or no supervision.

The wildlife laws of Wisconsin have allowed individuals in the state to privately own and keep a variety of animals such as lions, tigers, and capybaras as pets.

Although it is legal to own and keep a capybara in Wisconsin, it is important to stay informed and watch out for any changes in wildlife laws and regulations.

2. Consult The Appropriate Authorities

The second and arguably the most important step to legally owning a capybara in Wisconsin is to contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Alternatively, you can consult the local wildlife agencies and organizations in the state. These agencies are best informed to give you up-to-date details, guidelines, and information on specific concerns, inquiries, or questions you may have about owning a capybara in the state.

Factors To Consider Before Buying a Pet Capybara in Wisconsin

While it is legal to own a pet capybara in Wisconsin, there are lots of factors to consider before making your purchase. Remember that owning a capybara comes with a lot of responsibilities. You may want to consider the following:

  • A pool for the capybara since it is a semi-aquatic animal.
  • You may want to purchase more than one capybara because buying a single capybara can get idle and bored if it is without a playmate. Capybaras are social animals, consider buying at least two capybaras as it will help them with each other.
  • As the largest rodent in the world, the capybara eats multiple times a day. These animals can consume up to six to eight pounds of plants and grasses every day. The nutritional needs of the capybara are one of the biggest factors to consider before owning a capybara.
  • These animals require attention and care from their owner, so you must be available and reachable to spend time with them.
  • You will have to provide toys for the pets. In addition, your outdoor and indoor areas must be spacious and well-ventilated to breed these rodents.
  • Lastly, you must be conscious of other expenses such as veterinary costs, maintenance costs, etc.


The Wisconsin wildlife regulations allow you to own any animal you want and keep it as pets. However, don’t be quick to adopt any exotic animal and own it as a pet. Prospective pet owners are encouraged to conduct their research with due diligence before buying a capybara or any exotic animal in Wisconsin.

Pertinently, be in the know by reaching out to the wildlife agencies in the state from time to time to be the first to know about any recent changes in the laws and regulations of capybara ownership.


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