It's been more than a decade since I've lived in the Rockford area and for the past 4 years I've been in Montana, but it's nothing like you see on the television series Yellowstone.

One part of the TV show that's somewhat accurate is the constant threat of wild animals in everyday life living in Big Sky country, where on any given day you may encounter a moose, mountain lion, coyote, or a herd of elk.

In Montana, it's still so wild that laws would allow me to own a jungle cat and keep it without a permit. Even more surprising, I could legally have a pet Grizzly Bear. As long as I don't own more than one large bear or one large bobcat, and pay the $10 fee, it's completely legal.

So if I loaded up my moving truck to move from Montana back to Illinois and wanted to bring a pet Grizzly to be my "Chicago Bear", that would be a big no-no.

According to Illinois state law, the following are considered "dangerous animals" and are not allowed to be owned or kept as pets:

  • Lion
  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Ocelot
  • Jaguar
  • Cheetah
  • Margay
  • Mountain Lion
  • Lynx
  • Bobcat
  • Jaguarundi
  • Bear
  • Hyena
  • Wolf
  • Coyote

Illinois also bans the sale of skunks as pets. This reminds me of a lady I knew in Montana who had a litter of baby skunks she was raising as pets and she was frequently sprayed in the mouth. Yep, that's Montana.

There are other animals and species that are illegal to own in the state of Illinois and can be found by clicking HERE.

If you want a pet, just stick with the classics. Dogs and cats. And there are so many wonderful furbabies that are looking to find a forever home. But NEVER give an animal as a Christmas gift.

CLICK HERE to see what animals are currently waiting to be adopted at Noah's Ark in Rockford.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5