This week's news that a wild animal farm owner in Ohio released dozens of animals and then killed himself put the spotlight on how easy it is in some states to obtain lions, tigers and bears.
Virginia is one of the more lax states when it comes to regulations regarding the ownership of big cats and animals normally seen in zoos, according to a chart published by the Wall Street Journal today.
In the Commonwealth, permits are required to own large cats, bears and wolves. Primates and "dangerous" reptiles are allowed without permits. In the District, all of these animals are banned from private ownership.
The Humane Society of the United States has sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asking him to tighten regulations in the state, WTOP reported this morning. McDonnell responded, saying he would look into the issue.
Information on obtaining wild animals permits is available on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.