East Tennessee neighborhood full of exotic animals
Kassandra Lee lives in the Knoxville suburb of Karns and said the popularity of owning exotic animals in her community is growing.
"Lynx, bobcats, raccoons, monkeys, lemurs and opossums," Lee said.
Those are just a few of the animals some of her community members own.
"It's the new thing to do," Lee said.
Kassandra is no exception.
"I own four foxes. I have three red type foxes and one arctic," she said.
Outside of her home there's an enclosure where her foxes live. It's a caged in area with plenty of space for the animals to run and play.
Her love for foxes has lasted a lifetime, but it all became a reality about two years ago.
"My dog died and I started doing research. I did that for a year to learn how to take care of one because they are not like a cat or a dog," Lee said.
As you can imagine, when people realize she has these exotic animals on her property, they can't believe it.
"They ask a million questions saying you can't have one and if I got them from my back yard," Lee said.
Believe it or not, you can own these animals and many more legally.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency...certain animals fall under different classes.
Class I animals like bears and lions are considered inherently dangerous to humans. These species may only be possessed by zoos, circuses and commercial propagators.
Class II animals consist of native species, like foxes, that aren't part of the Class I list. You can own these animals if you go through the process and have the right permit.
"I never thought you could own these animals, but I did my research and checked the county laws and here we are," Lee said.
TWRA officials said these are state laws, so if you have the animal legally you can own them in a city or county.
Read more at WBIR's website.