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In most of the United States, it is against the law for you to own any wild animals or non-human primates (monkeys) without a permit. However, people sometimes come into contact with these animals. Like other animals, wild animals and primates can get diseases. Some of these diseases, called zoonoses, can cause illness in people. Since wild animals (including monkeys, raccoons, and skunks) can carry diseases that are dangerous to people, CDC discourages direct contact with wildlife.

Learn more about selected diseases of wildlife, including primates.

Wildlife-Related Diseases


Important Tip!

Enjoy watching animals from a safe distance. Touching wild animals may harm you or the animal.

male deer standing in a field