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Idaho Fish and Game

Gila Monster

Reptiles surrendered by Idaho Falls resident


Fish and Game officers recently took possession of several exotic reptiles from an Idaho Falls area residence. This is the second investigation of its type to occur this September following the seizure of several dozen venomous snakes from a Boise home earlier in the month.

The owner of the reptiles voluntarily surrendered eight specimens from his possession that were not properly permitted. The reptiles taken from the home included a 7 foot alligator, 2 caiman, 2 snapping turtles, 2 rubber boas and a Gila monster.


Due to the full cooperation of the owner and his willingness to voluntary surrender the animals, several written warnings were issued but the owner did not receive any citations. 

Exotic reptiles and amphibians are regulated by Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) to prevent their intentional or unintentional release into native ecosystems and causing potential harm. “We have a permitting process that is required before certain animals can be transported into the state,” explains Regional Conservation Officer Doug Petersen. “Certain species could pose a threat to our native wildlife if they were introduced into the environment.”


In general, animals that can be purchased at a local pet store are legal to own and do not require a permit from IDFG. Animals being purchased online or from an out of state retailer may require an import permit and a health certificate from a veterinarian. The animals surrendered in this case had neither document.

For questions regarding the legality of possessing a specific animal please contact your local Fish and Game office.