Wallabies in Will County: Illinois Eyes “Dangerous Animal Ban” Impacting Servals, Marsupials


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Joliet, IL – The term ‘dangerous animals’ has taken on new meaning in Illinois legislative circles, as lawmakers consider House Bill 4446, which would categorize servals, kangaroos, and wallabies under this heading. The bill gains traction following the widely publicized incident involving Rupert, a wallaby who briefly tasted freedom in Will County last September, and ongoing concerns about the suitability of servals as pets.

Introduced by Representative Daniel Didech, the bill reflects a growing concern regarding the potential threats posed by certain exotic animals when kept in private homes. Servals, known for their predatory prowess and agile hunting skills, are part of the conversation, viewed as particularly hazardous in residential settings.

While kangaroos and wallabies like Rupert, who became a local sensation in Monee and Crete, may not typically strike fear, their inclusion in the ‘dangerous animals’ list underscores the bill’s strikingly preventive nature. The proposed legislation aims to protect community safety and ensure the proper care of these animals, which often have complex needs that are difficult to meet in domestic environments. If passed, violators found in possession of these animals without authorization could be charged with a class C misdemeanor.

As House Bill 4446 is debated on the Illinois house floor, it stands to significantly reshape the landscape of exotic pet ownership in the state. It underscores the delicate balance legislators must strike between protecting public safety and respecting the nuanced needs of exotic animals — all while navigating the aftermath of a wallaby’s wanderlust and the stark reality of servals in suburbia.


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