The wild animals next door: Interactive map reveals where 2,700 dangerous pets ... trends now

The wild animals next door: Interactive map reveals where 2,700 dangerous pets ... trends now
The wild animals next door: Interactive map reveals where 2,700 dangerous pets ... trends now

The wild animals next door: Interactive map reveals where 2,700 dangerous pets ... trends now

If you thought the neighbour's cat was the wildest thing in your area, then new data will come as a real surprise to you. 

Shocking research has revealed that there are over 2,700 dangerous animals being kept as pets in the UK.

A study from animal charity Born Free has examined hundreds of dangerous animal licenses issued by local councils each year. 

From cheetahs in Cheshire to caiman crocodiles in Kent, they found that exotic and deadly animals are lurking in almost every corner of the UK.

So, if you're worried about the mountain lions in your lane or the servals on your street, MailOnline's searchable map lets you check if any dangerous animals are being kept near you. 

Data shows that there are more than 2,700 animals classed as dangerous in the UK including more than 200 wild cats which are in the collections and homes of private owners like Reece Oliver who keeps two lions at his home in Nottinghamshire

Data shows that there are more than 2,700 animals classed as dangerous in the UK including more than 200 wild cats which are in the collections and homes of private owners like Reece Oliver who keeps two lions at his home in Nottinghamshire

In the UK, many exotic animals are governed by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

This law establishes what is known as a 'negative list' of all the animals that people are prohibited from keeping.

However, under this law members of the public are able to apply for a license to keep almost any dangerous animal from the list, provided they have the means to keep it and prevent it from escaping. 

This means that almost 3,000 different animals designated as dangerous by the government are now being legally kept in gardens and houses across the country.

The data collected by Born Free shows that there were more than 200 wild cats, 250 primates, and over 400 venomous snakes being kept in 2023.

Dr Mark Jones, Born Free's head of policy, said: 'It is unbelievable that, in this day and age, so many dangerous animals, including big cats, large primates, crocodiles and venomous snakes, continue to be legally kept in people's homes.'

This map shows all the local authorities where dangerous animals are kept. The regions in red are places where at least one licence to own a dangerous animal has been issued

This map shows all the local authorities where dangerous animals are kept. The regions in red are places where at least one licence to own a dangerous animal has been issued

Pictured is Caesar, a 6ft long crocodile, who has lived in the conservatory of Chris Weller¿s Kent home for the past 13 years

Pictured is Caesar, a 6ft long crocodile, who has lived in the conservatory of Chris Weller’s Kent home for the past 13 years

To see how many of these animals live near you, simply find where you live on our interactive map and select your local authority.

You can also enter the first few letters of your local authority into the search bar at the top left to select your area.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the exact types of animals in your local area, you can head to Born Free's website for a full breakdown.

While the law is supposed to limit the number of dangerous animals being kept, Born Free's data shows the numbers remain high.  

Chris Lewis, captivity research officer for Born Free, says that the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was 'intended to make the keeping of such animals categorised as "dangerous" a wholly exceptional circumstance.' 

He added: 'However, Born Free's ongoing research paints a very different picture.'

In the UK there are currently 17 lions, seven tigers, seven cougars, and over 50 servals. Servals like this pair who were found in a private home in Colby, Sheffield, are the most-owned dangerous species

In the UK there are currently 17 lions, seven tigers, seven cougars, and over 50 servals. Servals like this pair who were found in a private home in Colby, Sheffield, are the most-owned dangerous species

Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court was told Zena the African Wildcat, pictured, was from the Serengeti National Park before turning up in Roehampton where she was kept in a flat

Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court was told Zena the African Wildcat, pictured, was from the Serengeti National Park before turning up in Roehampton where she was kept in a flat

In Oxfordshire, former circus trainer Jim Clubb who now trains animals for television programmes, films and adverts, and keeps tigers (pictured) among his menagerie

In Oxfordshire, former circus trainer Jim Clubb who now trains animals for television programmes, films and adverts, and keeps tigers (pictured) among his menagerie

UK local authorities with the most dangerous animals
Bridgend - 219 New Forest - 133 Buckinghamshire - 132 (Joint) Melton, Ribble, Shropshire - 100 Chichester - 80 West Oxfordshire - 75  Cotswolds - 60 Wiltshire - 47 (Joint) Chichester, Durham, Perth & Kinross - 40 Havant - 37

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