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wild animals

Most states have specific laws governing the possession of dangerous wild animals, and the liability of landowners for injuries caused by wild animals on their property. Ferae naturae is a common law doctrine (created by judges in court opinions) meaning "animals of a wild nature or disposition," and traces its origins back to the Roman empire. Under the doctrine of ferae naturae, wild animals are presumed to be owned by no one specifically, but by the people generally.

In many states the rule of law has developed that a landowner cannot be held liable for the acts of indigenous wild animals occurring on his or her property unless the landowner has actually reduced the wild animals to possession or control, or introduced a non-indigenous animal into the area.

In Texas, the regulation of possession of dangerous wild animals is governed by the Health and Safety Code, specifically Chapter 822, Subchapter E. This statute requires owners of dangerous wild animals, such as lions, tigers, and bears, to register with their local animal control or sheriff, maintain liability insurance or surety bonds, and comply with caging and safety requirements. Regarding liability for injuries caused by wild animals, Texas follows the common law doctrine of ferae naturae, which generally holds that landowners are not liable for injuries caused by indigenous wild animals on their property unless the landowner has captured or controls the animal, or has introduced a non-native species that causes harm. However, if a landowner's actions, such as maintaining artificial conditions that attract wild animals, lead to an injury, the landowner may be held liable under certain circumstances. It is important for landowners to understand these regulations and potential liabilities, and they may wish to consult with an attorney for specific legal advice tailored to their situation.

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