Axolotls are little cute salamanders that have tiny eyes and don’t have eyelids. It has a beautiful mouth shaped like it is smiling. These little beings are creatures with frilly gills.
You may be aware that axolotls are under severe threat of extinction. Mostly, they have colors like pink, golden, and grey. Many people resemble them with fish or call them walking fish but they are not fish, they resemble them but are Salamanders.
Why are axolotls illegal in California? As per law in California, there is a restriction on axolotls like other salamanders. These are disallowed not because they are endangered but the reason is they can cause harm to the local species. So mostly all the salamanders including Axolotls are banned. It’s because of their tendency as wild deleterious animals that may harm other species.
A lot of pet lovers generally have a question in mind why are axolotls illegal in California and we will see in detail what other options rare pet owners have.
Is Owning An Axolotl Illegal?
It is illegal to own axolotls in many states like California, New Jersey, Virginia and Maine. They are legal to own in Mexico but you are not allowed to import them from other states.
So basically it is illegal to own axolotls California and some, Marine, New Jersey, and Virginia. It is legal to own axolotls in Mexico but you are not allowed to import one from any other state.
Axolotls are native to Mexico and are now considered critically endangered species because of a variety of reasons that include loss of habitat, declining water quantity, and quality and urbanization.
So it is suggested not to take them from the wild that is their native habitat, just for the sake of the pet trade. Axolotls are getting endangered due to loss of habitat, declining water quality, and urbanization.
A huge number of axolotls have decreased just for the sake of scientific research. Because of these reasons, axolotls are illegal in California.
Can I Own A Axolotl In California?
Well if you live in California you might be thinking if it is legal to own Axolotl in California. So with a very heavy heart, your answer is no. Axolotls are not allowed in California due to various reasons the authorities have considered Axolotls as illegal.
So legally, you cannot own an axolotl as a pet in California. But if you somehow want it you have to receive a permission letter from the authorities. It would include all the details like the length of ownership, your guarantee to keep them nice.
In this case you would be supervised regularly by vets or by the inspection team. So these permits are very difficult and are way too expensive.
If you break any of the laws you have committed a crime and you would be punished accordingly. Realistically, axolotls are not pets for anyone living in California.
What Happened If You Get Caught With Axolotl in California
After getting the answer why Axolotls are illegal in California, perhaps you want to know what happens if you get caught with axolotl. The answer is if you have an axolotl in the states where they are banned or illegal you are in a very challenging position.
This is because you are basically breaking a rule whether intentionally or unintentionally. If you get Caught you would be charged as crime under the Violation of State law
I would recommend the following things that you must do as soon as possible.
Inform Local Authorities
The wisest and sane thing to do is to contact the wildlife authorities. They will guide you in the most appropriate manner about all the best possible measures. Also, keep in mind once they are informed that they may take your axolotl away.
I know it is very difficult for an axolotl lover but the axolotl will be under the protection of the state.
What Is The Penalty Of Owning An Axolotl In California
Beware California has toughest laws for exotic pets. If someone one caught with Axolotls as a pet he will be punished under California Fish and Game code. According to the Penalty of keeping illegal pets in California following are the possible penalties.
- Cash penalty of $500 – $10,000 with additional cost of removing animal, its storage and care.
- Imprisonment up to 6 months.
Why Are Axolotls Illegal in California?
Selling, keeping and owning is totally illegal in California and some other U.S states. These other states include New Jersey, Maine, etc.
Many laws in California are made to protect the local ecosystem, the general public, and mainly of the Axolotls which are nowadays severely endangered.
You should consider the fact that these laws are also made to safeguard other salamanders including Tiger Salamanders, Spotted Salamanders, Mole Salamanders.
The main reason why axolotls are illegal in California for all of this is just to protect all of the beings. Some of answers why axolotls are illegal in California are given below,
Axolotls are non-friendly species that do not like to socialize or interact with other animals including other Axolotls. it is very highly possible that they may harm other creations. So this is why axolotls are illegal in California
Protection of native wild and agriculture and public health
Axolotls are prohibited because these little beings may harm agriculture or public health. So to protect all Axolotls are banned in California.
Existence of Axolotl
The existence of Axolotl is the main reason for their ban as these small cute little creations are facing severe danger and are reducing day by day. They are now considered an endangered species.
They are also banned so they may not interbreed with other local animals.One of the reasons they are severely getting extinction threats is the use of pesticides in soil which eventually end up in the water. Destruction of their habitat is causing them to become extinct.
How Much Does An Axolotl Cost In California?
Axolotl itself is not very expensive but the expenses that usually come while taking permits for axolotls in California etc are really high. A general price range for a basic but healthy axolotl ranges from $30-$75.If you want some special axolotl like piebald axolotl it will cost you $100-$150.
Can Axolotls Kill you?
Axolotls are not dangerous for human beings. Axolotl’s body does not contain any type of poison. They are also eaten by people in some countries as gourmet food. People don’t suffer from any side effects or any disease.
What Pets Are Illegal In California?
There are a lot of pets that are illegal in California but are legal worldwide like monkeys, hedgehogs, ferrets, Chinese hamsters, quaker parakeets, raccoons, skunks, alligators, lemurs, zebras, cheetah, and servals.
The reason behind their illegalness is to save endangered animals from extinction.
Where Are Axolotls Not Illegal?
Axolotls are mostly legal in all parts of the world and even in many states of the USA. Although they are illegal in states like California, New Jersey, etc but are legal in areas like Mexico.
Final Verdict On Why are Axolotls Illegal in California
Why are axolotls illegal in California? Long story short axolotls are basically small salamanders which are aquatic creations. Many people love these beings all over the world but unfortunately, they are getting endangered due to which they are illegal in California. One is not allowed to keep, sell, or any type of trade of the Axolotls.
Other reasons why axolotls are illegal in California are that they pose a severe threat to other animals due to their non-friendly nature. They are even non-friendly with other Axolotls.
If somehow you want to keep an axolotl in an area like California, you have to get a permit letter from the relevant authorities but these permits are very difficult to get, after a lot of hard work if you manage to get one they are very costly.
If you own one without a permit, the most sensible choice is to report to the authorities of wildlife.
After this, it is most likely that they would take the axolotl away but if you don’t technically you are committing a crime and most probably you will be punished accordingly.
Apart from Axolotls, there are many other animals that are banned in California to prevent their Extinction. They include monkeys, Chinese hamsters, quaker parakeets, raccoons, skunks, alligators, lemurs, zebras, cheetahs.