(a) No person shall possess a potentially dangerous animal. For the purposes of this section, the following wildlife, or any hybrid thereof, shall be considered potentially dangerous animals:
(1) The felidae, including, but not limited to, the lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi cat, puma, lynx and bobcat;
(2) The canidae, including, but not limited to, the wolf, and coyote;
(3) The ursidae, including, but not limited to, the black bear, grizzly bear and brown bear; and
(4) The hominidae, including, but not limited to, the gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan.
(b) A primate that weighs less than thirty-five pounds at maturity and that was imported or possessed by a person in this state prior to October 1, 2010, shall not be considered a potentially dangerous animal pursuant to this section.
(c) Any such animal illegally possessed may be ordered seized and may be relocated or disposed of as determined by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall issue a bill to the owner or person in illegal possession of such potentially dangerous animal for all costs of seizure, care, maintenance, relocation or disposal of such animal. Additionally, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars, to be fixed by the court, for each offense. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may request the Attorney General to institute an action in Superior Court to recover such penalty and any amounts owed pursuant to a bill issued in accordance with this section and for an order providing such equitable and injunctive relief as the court deems appropriate.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to municipal parks, public nonprofit aquaria or zoos, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or the Zoological Association of America, nature centers, museums, or exhibitors licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture or laboratories and research facilities maintained by scientific or educational institutions licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture, any licensed veterinarian for the purpose of treatment and care of such animal, or to any person who possesses a breed of felidae certified by The International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association or the American Cat Fanciers Association.
(e) Any person who wilfully violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
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