Water Buffalo Exotic Animal Ownership

An albino water buffalo sold legally for a record price. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A rare albino buffalo in Thailand sold to water buffalo breeders recently for seventy-four thousand dollars, far eclipsing the normal price of fourteen hundred dollars. What? Who breeds water buffaloes? Why? Well, as we all learned from Tiger King, pet ownership is not limited to kitties and dogs. 

While there’s no federal law prohibiting so-called exotic animal ownership, every state has its own version of which animals may be privately owned.  Currently twenty states, including California, prohibit wild cats, non-domesticated carnivores—which you wouldn’t think you’d need a law (other than natural selection) to prevent—and primates. In other states, like Texas, you can own exotic animals as long as you have a permit.  Presumably, to get a permit for a water buffalo, you’d at least have to have a home where they can roam.

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