Greensboro, NC - An ocelot, lioness, and kinkajou have all been spotted in the Triad.
They're exotic animals that somehow found a home in the urban jungle.
The ocelot was captured in Lindley Park in Greensboro in 2005
. In 2003, a woman moved to Davidson County and brought along her 450-pound lioness
and just last week, a kinkajou was spotted in a High Point woman's backyard.
What brings exotic animals to the area and which are legal to own? WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower spoke to animal control officials about the regulations.
"The only thing I can say as far as being in the area is people would be real surprised at how many people have more than one reptile in their house in their neighborhood," said Chad Griffin, reptile expert.
Griffin is the owner of CCSB Reptile Rescue and Rehab Center in Winston-Salem.
He has alligators, a crocodile, venomous snakes, and more at his home. Most of those are illegal to own in Forsyth County but Griffin has a special license.
He says animals like the ones he's rescued wind up in the Triad through the pet trade and specialty breeders.
Each county determines what type of exotic animal they will allow.
Guilford County says "no" to bears, wolfs, wolf hybrids, and large cats. They will allow you to have as many snakes as you want though, as long as you have the proper permit.
"We do require to know what the animal is, how you are going to house it, is it going to be safe for other people that might be in the neighborhood with this animal," explained Scott Greene, Guilford County Animal Control.
In Davidson County, if you want an exotic animal, you must register the animal, submit an emergency contingency and recapture plan, and maintain liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000.
A minimum fine of $100 and seizure of the animal are possible consequences if county ordinances are violated.
To read Forsyth County's policy on exotic animals, click here.
To read Davidson County's policy on exotic animals, click here.
To read Guilford County's policy on exotic animals, click here.
WFMY News 2