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Exotic Animals Find Homes in South Dakota Backyards

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SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Animal Industry Board’s licensing database shows that South Dakotans are providing homes to some interesting animals – including Siberian tigers and a black bear.

In the small town of Delmont, with a population of about 230 residents, one home has five tigers, a leopard and a mountain lion.

The database also shows there are bobcats licensed in White River, Piedmont and Monroe; wolves in Keystone and Whitewood, and the black bear in Beresford.

Sioux Falls resident Lori Welbig keeps a half-dozen silver foxes in a large outdoor pen. She says people keep exotic animals to “preserve the species.”

State veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven tells the Argus Leader that there are additional licensing and inspection requirements for “captive nondomestic mammals,” and that some permit requests are declined.

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