While the thought of having a pet monkey or big cat sounds like you'd be living your best life, if you live in New Jersey, you might want to think again.

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Listen, I have one particular VIVID childhood memory my parents still tease me about to this day. It's the story of how I came home from school one February afternoon to find a swimming pool being dug in my backyard. While most kids would have been jumping for joy that they were getting an in-ground pool, I cried. It was at that moment I knew we'd never have room for a pet tiger.

But it's dreams like mine that get some exotic pet owners in trouble in the Garden State. Maybe you thought it would be totally cool to adopt that baby raccoon that's always hanging around your trash, or play Steve 'The Crocodile Hunter' Irwin in your own bathtub. But those are just some of the animals that are actually illegal to own in New Jersey. There are a bunch more in the photo gallery below.

FYI, as I was researching for this story, a big bubble of searches like 'where to buy a tiger in New Jersey' and 'who sells monkeys in NJ' came up. Ug.

P.S. There are plenty of shelter animals that need good homes. Don't waste your time or money on trying to home the Outbreak monkey.

SOURCES: PetHelpful.com; NJ.com

12 Animals That Are Illegal to Own as Pets in New Jersey

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