What if we told you that the strange barks coming from the neighbour's dog were actually from one of the dozens of dangerous wild animals legally owned as pets in Scotland?

187 private addresses across over 100 local authorities in the UK hold licences to keep dangerous and exotic animals.

Discussing the list of wild animals being kept legally, charity Born Free said: "A total of 187 private addresses across 126 local authorities hold licences to keep dangerous wild animals such as lions, tigers, crocodilians and venomous reptiles."

The research was gathered from local authorities and features the maximum number allowed on the licence, the minimum number, or the number in possession at the time of the data request. 

Alligators, rattlesnakes and Jaguarundi being kept by private owners in Scotland

Among the dangerous wild animals being kept by private owners in Scotland are two American alligators in Clackmannanshire.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, it is rare for these alligators to chase after humans but it did warn that "they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land."

It added: "Alligators are extremely quick and agile and will defend themselves when cornered.

"A female protecting her nest might charge a person who gets close to the nest, but she would quickly return to the nest after the intruder left."

A Jaguarundi was also registered as being privately owned in Falkirk. These wild cats, which are native to the Americas, may attack people when they are "badly provoked" with those affected likely to be bitten and scratched.

In Aberdeen, there is a diamondback rattlesnake. These are known as the most dangerous venomous snakes in North America.

While they are not usually aggressive, the mortality rate for those bitten is anywhere between 10% and 30%.

See the full list of dangerous wild animals being kept as pets in Scotland

These are the dangerous wild animals being legally kept by private owners in Scotland, according to Born Free.

Aberdeen City

  • Diamondback Rattlesnake: 1
  • Monocled Cobra: 1


  • Ostrich: 12
  • Bison: 3


  • Crocodilians & Gila Monsters: 11


  • American Alligator: 2
  • Cuvier’s Caiman: 2
  • Broad-Snouted Caiman: 2
  • Spectacled Caiman: 4
  • Gila Monster: 4

Dumfries and Galloway

  • Camel: 4

East Ayrshire

  • Wild Boar: 31


  • Serval: 3
  • Savannah Cat: 10
  • Jaguarundi: 1


  • Savannah Cat: 1


  • Serval: 1
  • Savannah Cat: 3

Perth and Kinross

  • Bison: 8
  • Przewalski’s Horse: 4
  • Moufflon: 40

The full list of dangerous wild animals being kept in the UK can be found on the Born Free website, where users can also view a map of the local authorities hosting them.