A viral map that has popped up on social media platforms in the past yearshows South Carolina as one of only three states that allow unrestrictedkangaroo ownership — all others require a permit or ban it outright.

That doesn’t account for possible local ordinances, but it’s an example of anovel aspect of state law: there are regulations on owning many nativewildlife but little in regard to wild animals from out of state.

Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach, for example, needs a special permitto keep its gators, but nothing is stopping a private person from penning akangaroo, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Billy Dukessaid.

DNR doesn’t have a list of private individuals who own wild or exotic animals.As recently as 2006, they did track black bear ownership, and had almost 30owners on a list then.

“We hear about a lot of those things anecdotally,” Dukes said. “We don’t doany type of reports or compiling of anything like that.”

The Post and Courier has reported on some more unconventional pets over theyears, including a Colleton County couple that chained a black bear in theiryard until 2011. Since then, one of the few state laws on exotic animalownership has passed. As of Jan. 1, 2018, it’s illegal to own “large wildcats, non-native bears, and great apes.”

Anyone who owned one of those animals before that date and who still does issupposed to report it to the county they live in. No such animal owners areregistered in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, according tospokespeople for those jurisdictions.

Dukes said that owning a wild animal can prove a dangerous proposition.

“We strongly discourage it,” he said. “Wildlife are just that. … They aremeant to remain in the wild. They are not domesticated pets. They do notdomesticate well.”

Documented cases of exotic animals getting loose in South Carolina arerelatively rare, though Dukes said he recalls cases of escaped Patagoniancavies in McCormick County. The small rodents are “between a guinea pig and arabbit,” he said.

The Greenwood Index Journal also reported last year on another episode, alsoin McCormick County, where a kangaroo was twice spotted hopping along a ruralhighway.

Source: By Chloe Johnson [email protected] __

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