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20 Animals That Are Illegal to Keep as Pets in Singapore

20 Animals That Are Illegal to Keep as Pets in Singapore

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about owning a pet that’s a little out of the ordinary? Maybe you’ve imagined showing off your exotic snake to your friends. 

But hold on —  our country has some pretty strict rules when it comes to certain critters. Not all furry, scaly, or feathery friends are welcome in the Lion City.

That’s why I’m here with the ultimate guide to 20 illegal animals to keep as pets in Singapore. 

1. Smooth-Coated Otters

1. Smooth-Coated Otters

Smooth-coated otters are a big no-no as pets in Singapore. It’s because these playful little critters are critical to the local ecosystem. 

Now, we get the idea of having your own otter buddy to frolic with, which sounds like a dream come true. But here’s the thing: otters have complex social structures and specialized needs that are nearly impossible to meet in a domestic setting.

They require large areas to roam and plenty of access to water for swimming and foraging.

Trying to replicate their natural habitat in a home environment wouldn’t be unfair to these wild animals, right?

Plus, smooth-coated otters are protected under Singaporean law, meaning owning them as pets is unethical and illegal.

Given their status as one of the endangered species in the country, the penalties for owning them are steep, and you could face a hefty fine of up to S$1,000.

2. Blood Pythons

2. Blood Pythons

Do you see yourself as a bit of a snake charmer? I hate to burst your snake owner dream but keeping one like a blood python is prohibited in Singapore.

Blood pythons are exotic animals. While they might be docile in captivity, they still pose a risk to their owners and the general public if they escape.

Plus, there’s the concern about them potentially establishing themselves as an invasive species.

Moreover, since blood pythons are one of the endangered species in the country, keeping them as pets can result in hefty consequences.

Get caught with one of these forbidden reptiles, and you could be looking at a hefty fine of S$5,000 and even up to 6 months in jail.

3. Hedgehogs

3. Hedgehogs

As a child, I also dreamed of keeping a hedgehog as a pet. I remember when we traveled to another country and saw this cute little spiky creature in the pet shop. 

But my dream of having this as a pet quickly vanished when my father told me it was illegal to keep one in Singapore. 

You see, hedgehogs are potential troublemakers for the country’s delicate ecosystem. In a tightly controlled environment like Singapore, introducing foreign species—even ones as seemingly harmless as hedgehogs—can upset the ecological balance.

If caught keeping a Hedgehog as a pet in the Lion City, it could land you a hefty fine of up to S$1,000.

4. Bearded Dragons

4. Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are not native to our country, meaning they’re not accustomed to the local climate and ecosystem.

These reptiles have complex behavioral and dietary needs that can be challenging to meet in a home environment.

From UV lighting requirements to specific temperature gradients in their habitat, caring for a bearded dragon takes a lot of effort and expertise.

And let’s not forget about their diet, which includes various live insects and leafy greens – not your typical pet food aisle fare!

Did I mention the consequences of getting caught with one of these scaly critters? You could be looking at a hefty S$3,000 fine – an amount not worth losing from your wallet.

5. Foxes

5. Foxes

While foxes look like a cute mix of a cat and dog, it’s illegal to capture, buy one, and, most significantly, keep one as a pet in Singapore.

Let’s start with the fact that foxes are incredibly complex creatures. Sure, they’re adorable with their fluffy coats and playful antics, but they also have a wild side that’s not so easy to tame.

Unlike your typical household pet, they have instincts honed for survival in the wild, making it challenging to train and socialize. Their natural behaviors, like marking territory and hunting instincts, can pose problems in a domestic setting.

Plus, their nocturnal nature means they’re most active at night, which might not align with your schedule.

Keeping a fox as a pet in our country could land you a S$1,000 fine. So it’s best to leave these cunning creatures to roam free in the wild where they belong.

6. Iguanas

6. Iguanas

The iguana is one of the reptilian animals that are illegal to keep in Singapore. 

Why can’t you have one as a pet?

Our country has strict regulations in place to prevent the introduction of invasive species – unfortunately, iguanas fall into that category.

While they may seem like unique pets, they require much effort and know-how to keep happy and healthy.

For starters, iguanas have specific environmental needs. They require a large enclosure with ample space to climb and bask. Their diet consists mainly of leafy greens, and they need regular access to fresh water for drinking and bathing.

So, while owning this scaly creature might seem like a fun idea, it’s essential to consider the long-term commitment and specialized care they require.

If you’re caught keeping an iguana as a pet in Singapore, you’ll be charged a S$500 fine.

7. Indian Star Tortoises

7. Indian Star Tortoises

Who wouldn’t want a slow-moving, wise old tortoise chilling in their backyard? But here’s the scoop: in Singapore, there’s one type of tortoise you can’t keep as a pet: the Indian star tortoise. 

These tortoises are protected under international law. They’re considered endangered due to habitat loss and illegal trafficking. Plus, owning them without the proper documentation might cause big trouble.

Even if you manage to get your hands on one legally, they’re not the easiest pets to care for.

Indian star tortoises have specific habitat requirements that keep them in a place with well-maintained temperature and humidity levels. It’s a lot of work to ensure these tortoises thrive in captivity.

If caught keeping one as a pet in Singapore, you could be fined up to S$5,000.

8. Sugar Gliders

8. Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders? They sound like something out of a fairy tale, right? 

These creatures are fluffy and have adorable big eyes. But they are more than just cute faces.

These nocturnal creatures need plenty of space to climb, glide, and explore, which can be hard to provide in a typical home environment.

Sugar gliders are highly social animals, forming strong bonds with their kind. Without companionship, they can become stressed and even depressed.

So, if you’re thinking of getting just one, think again – you’ll need at least a pair to keep them happy. Pretty handful, right?

While they might seem like the ultimate cute and cuddly companion, keeping them as pets in Singapore is a big fat nope.

And get this – if caught with one, you could face a S$500 to S$1,000 fine. 

9. Greater Mousedeers

9. Greater Mousedeers

Greater mousedeers are pint-sized mammals looking like miniature deer with the face of a mouse. 

Can you imagine how they look? Adorable, isn’t it?

But here’s the catch – as tempting as having one as a pet might be, they are strictly off-limits in Singapore. 

These little critters might seem like the perfect pocket-sized pet, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. This animal is one of the country’s endangered species, and keeping one as a pet in Singapore comes with serious consequences.

If caught, offenders could face a hefty fine of up to S$5,000 and a maximum of 6 months in jail. That’s not a risk worth taking!

10. Salamanders

10. Salamanders

Ever wondered if you could keep a salamander as a pet?

You might want to reconsider getting one because these amphibians are on the list of animals that are strictly prohibited to keep as pets in this city-state.

Plus, there’s the whole issue of infectious diseases. Since they can carry pathogens harmful to humans and other animals, the risk of spreading diseases is a significant concern.

If caught keeping one as a pet, you could face a hefty fine of S$1,000. Not to mention, these little guys play a vital role in our ecosystem, so it’s essential to keep them where they belong – in the wild. 

11. Slow Lorises

11. Slow Lorises

Ever heard of slow lorises? They’re like something straight out of a jungle adventure movie, with their big, soulful eyes and fluffy fur.

But they’re not just cute little critters you can keep as pets in Singapore. These guys are strictly off-limits, and for good reason. 

A slow loris might seem adorable, but it’s one of the endangered primates, which means its kinds need to be protected in their natural habitats, not stuck in someone’s living room.

It’s also a deadly furball as it has a toxic bite that it uses to defend itself in the wild, which definitely isn’t something you want to mess with.

If you’re caught with a slow loris in your possession, you could be slapped with a hefty fine of up to S$5,000 and up to three months of jail time.

12. Tarantulas

12. Tarantulas

Tarantulas – those eight-legged wonders that always send shivers down my spine are not allowed to be kept as pets in Singapore.

These hairy arachnid pals will cost you a hefty fine of S$500 if you’re caught keeping one as a pet.

But it’s not just the potential financial hit that should deter you. Tarantulas require a suitable enclosure with the right temperature.

Say, you can provide the perfect room for them – let’s not forget their venomous bite, which can be pretty painful for humans.

So, as tempting as adding a tarantula to your collection of critters might be, it’s best to stick to something a little less hairy.

13. Civet Cats

13. Civet Cats

Have you ever seen a civet cat? I dare you not to dream of keeping it as it’s not suitable to stay indoors and is illegal to keep as a pet in Singapore.  

This nocturnal animal is protected under local regulations. Owning them without proper authorization will cost you S$800 to S$1,000 fine.

Caring for civet cats is no walk in the park. They’re omnivores, meaning they eat a mix of plant-based and animal-based foods, including fruits, insects, and small mammals. 

Providing a balanced diet for them requires careful planning and access to various resources, which can be quite demanding for pet owners.

And let’s not forget about their living conditions. They are highly active and need plenty of space to roam and explore.

Creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention the potential odor issues of housing a wild animal indoors.

14. Gibbons

14. Gibbons

Gibbons are those swingin’ primates with acrobatic antics. They’re one of the strictly off-limits pets in Singapore. 

Why? Because these beautiful creatures are on the brink of extinction, and the last thing we want is for them to end up as someone’s exotic pet. 

It’s also downright unfair to these wild animals. They need space to swing, trees to climb, and fellow gibbons to play with.

They are also picky eaters with a specialized diet of fruits, leaves, and insects. Providing them with a nutritionally balanced diet that meets their dietary needs would be a monumental task.

Since gibbons are one of Singapore’s endangered species, the penalties for keeping them as pets are no joke. If caught, you could face a hefty fine of S$5,000 and up to 6 months of jail time.

15. Scorpions

15. Scorpions

Scorpions are fascinating arachnids that might seem like they belong in a sci-fi movie with their armored bodies and menacing pincers, but there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Their sting is no joke! Depending on the type, a scorpion sting can range from mild pain and swelling to severe allergic reactions and even death in rare cases.

In Singapore, where safety and conservation are top priorities, keeping it as a pet is not only risky but also illegal. The authorities are serious about enforcing the ban on certain exotic pets, and scorpions are definitely on that list.

And with fines ranging from S$300 to S$500 for offenders, it’s definitely not worth the trouble.

16. Crocodiles

16. Crocodiles

Ever thought about adding a crocodile to your list of potential pets? 

Who wouldn’t want a real-life big reptilian buddy, right? They might become one of your security guards!

Kidding aside, when it comes to crocodiles, Singapore isn’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat for these toothy predators.

They might be fascinating to watch from a distance, but they’re not meant for domestic life. 

Crocodiles are not only massive but also quite territorial and have a reputation for being aggressive and deadly. 

And can you imagine trying to explain to your neighbors why there’s a crocodile sunbathing in your backyard? 

Keeping a crocodile as a pet in Singapore could cost you a S$4,000 fine. So, if you want to see one, why don’t you just visit the Singapore Zoo?

17. Sunda Pangolin

17. Sunda Pangolin

You might have already seen a Sunda pangolin in a movie or a cartoon, but you’ll rarely see one in our country. 

It’s an animal with a scaly anteater, a tongue longer than your arm, and a knack for curling up into a tight ball whenever it feels threatened. Pretty cool, right?

But in Singapore, owning one as a pet is a hard-level pass.

Let me tell you a bit more about these amazing animals. Sunda pangolins are solitary creatures, preferring the quiet life of the forest, where they spend their days sniffing out ants and termites with their keen sense of smell.

Caring for a Sunda pangolin is no easy feat. They’re incredibly shy and elusive, which makes them unsuitable for life as a pet. 

And since the Sunda pangolin is one of Singapore’s critically endangered species, keeping one as a pet can land you a serious fine of  S$5,000 or 8-10 months of jail time.

So, as much as you might be tempted to have your own pangolin pal, it’s best to admire them from afar and leave them to roam free in the wild where they belong.

18. Oriental Pied Hornbill

18. Oriental Pied Hornbill

Nowadays, spotting an oriented pied hornbill is already an incredible sight to behold. The oriental pied hornbill isn’t just any bird – it’s a critically endangered species.

Despite its breathtaking beauty, this iconic creature faces a tough battle for survival due to habitat loss and poaching.

With their natural habitats shrinking, it’s actually sad that these hornbills are finding it harder and harder to thrive.

You’ll see some of them on Pulau Ubin island, where they reside. Residents there and the local government are trying their best to ensure these majestic birds have a fighting chance to repopulate. 

So, as tempting as it may be, capturing an oriental pied hornbill and bringing it home as a pet is a hard-level pass in Singapore. We’re talking fines of up to S$5,000 plus up to one year behind bars if you’re caught red-handed with this animal. 

19. Cinnamon Bush Frogs

19. Cinnamon Bush Frogs

As a person who’s afraid of frogs, I often wonder, “Why on earth would anyone want a frog as a pet?” But I guess, while they might not be everyone’s first choice, some people find these little hoppers fascinating.

But although these little amphibians might seem unassuming at first glance, don’t let their small size fool you!

There’s this one type of frog that actually has quite complex behavior patterns and can be a little aggressive when disturbed — Cinnamon Bush Frogs!

The government takes their protection seriously as one of Singapore’s endangered species. That’s why keeping one of these frogs as a pet in Singapore can land you a great amount of S$5,000 fine and up to six months of jail time.

20. Piranhas

20. Piranhas

It might seem like a thrilling addition to your home decor, but piranhas are notorious for their aggressive behavior, especially during feeding time.

They have powerful jaws lined with razor-sharp teeth, and once they get a taste for blood, they won’t hesitate to attack anything – even the hands that feed them.

Let’s not forget about the legal consequences of keeping them as pets in Singapore. If you’re caught harboring these dangerous marine animals, you could face a hefty fine of up to S$4,000. 

That’s a steep price for a fish that isn’t worth the trouble. 

Did any of these prohibited pets surprise you? They’re a lot to keep in mind, huh?

But if you’re feeling a bit bummed about not being able to own one of the mentioned animals above, there are plenty of other fantastic legal pets in our country! 

Who knows? Maybe one day, we can add more creatures to Singapore’s list of approved pets.