OAR 635-044-0475
Wildlife Held by Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Wildlife Sanctuaries


Wildlife held for exhibitor/education or animal entertainment industry purposes or in wildlife sanctuaries are not considered wildlife held as pets. Animals previously held for entertainment purposes that are no longer performing due to age or debilitation may be held as pets (e.g. not on exhibit or performing) by the business or transferred to an exhibitor or sanctuary with prior Department approval.


Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Sanctuary permittees must be Oregon residents, as defined in OAR 635-010-0015 (Issuing Documents)(4)(a), and maintain their approved facility and held wildlife collections in Oregon.


Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Sanctuary permittees may only transfer legally held wildlife between other Oregon Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Sanctuaries permittees or an AZA accredited facility, or add new animals including black bear, cougar, and bobcat to their inventory of legally held wildlife, with prior written approval by the Department.


Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry permittees of held wildlife must provide:


Written documentation to the department with their annual permit application showing that:


Animals held on Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry permit are exhibited to the public for exhibition or education purposes; or,


Permittee of animals used in animal entertainment must document active contract work including dates and job descriptions for that year involving wildlife held on the permit;


A copy of their business license, Non-Profit filing status (if applicable), Tax Identification Number, and/or Employer Identification Number and documentation showing approval of their held species of wildlife by local city, town, or county ordinances;


Written documentation of the permit holder and employee qualifications to transport and possess only those species specified on the department approved permit including black bears, bobcat, cougars, and wolves and including: Documentation that applicants or the applicant’s employee(s) who will be handling wildlife are at least 18 years of age and possess the equivalent of at least two years, paid or volunteer, hands-on experience caring for and handling species at facilities engaged in a similar or directly related activity to the permit requested. Applicants or the applicant’s employee shall have at least one year hands-on professional experience working with black bears, bobcats, cougars, or wolves in the same family or closely related taxonomic family as each species being requested. Experience will be considered only for the periods the applicant or the applicant’s employee was directly involved in and responsible for the animals while engaged in the activity requested on the permit and only when acquired within five years of the date of the initial permit application.


AZA accredited facilities are exempt from the requirements listed in this section (4).


Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry permittees holding native wildlife for the purposes of education may hold species defined under the rules of Chapter 635 Divisions 044 and 062. Native wildlife that are found injured and/or orphaned in the wild in Oregon and are not suitable for release into the wild, but are suitable for educational purposes, may be held under a Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry permit provided the animal in question is placed by the Department and given to a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator not directly associated with the Exhibitor’s business, unless approved by the Department.


Placement or final disposition of wild non-releasable wildlife will be determined at the discretion and pre-approval of the Department. Native species shall only be acquired from the Department or, upon approval by the Department, from a licensed Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility that is permitted with the Department.


The Department veterinarian shall receive written documentation for each animal requested for Exhibit from a licensed Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility’s veterinarian stating why the animal is unsuitable for wildlife rehabilitation and release, but suitable for education purposes.


Licensed Oregon wildlife rehabilitators who legally hold only non-releasable migratory bird species for educational purposes are not required to acquire a Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry permit.


Wildlife may only be transferred from a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility to a permitted Wildlife Exhibitor/Educational facility through prior approval by the Department.


New application requirements for Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Sanctuary permit shall include:


An inventory of each animal requested including the common and scientific name, sex, and age of each animal.


A resume which provides the dates and description of an applicant or their full-time employee’s experience. The resume is required only when applying for the initial permit, an amendment, or when applying to add new species to the inventory upon renewing a permit.


A copy of current USDA license or registration document required by the USDA (for mammals) and a copy of the most recent USDA facility inspection form completed for the facility shall be on file with the department at all times. A copy of the issued USDA license or registration document shall be provided to the department within 10 business days of receipt of the document.


Three letters of recommendation are required for new applicants, written in the previous five years, on letterhead stationary with an original signature signed in ink from the owner or operator of a facility where the applicant or their employee gained his/her experience and may include a recommendation from other licensed industry associates. The letters shall provide the printed name of the owner or operator and detailed information regarding the quality and extent of the applicant’s or their employee’s, knowledge and experience related to the permit requested. AZA and ZAA accredited facilities may submit this information with their 5-year accreditation documents, however, animal inventory and employee and facility changes must be submitted annually.


A detailed statement of purpose describing the planned use for each animal. Applicants shall include relevant materials including lists of prospective clients with their contact information or contracts with clients or websites, scripts, brochures or flyers promoting or describing the planned use of the animals. If the animals will be used in an educational program, the applicant shall provide an explanation why live native and/or restricted species are necessary and copies of the educational material that will be distributed. The department may deny the issuance of a permit if it determines that the statement of purpose for the animal(s) does not sufficiently describe the planned use for each animal or is not supported by the permit application materials. The department may require a permittee seeking to renew a permit to provide documents, including but not limited to client lists with contact information or contracts with clients, demonstrating that the use of a permitted animal was consistent with the statement of purpose.


A copy of all current permits required by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) shall be on file with the Department at all times. A copy of the issued USFWS license or registration document shall be provided to the Department within 10 business days of receipt. Any person who is required to possess a USFWS permit for the restricted species applied for or listed on a Department-approved permit is required to comply with these requirements.


The name, address, and telephone number of the veterinarian that provides veterinary care for wildlife listed on the permit.


Emergency Action Plan. Every Exhibitor, Animal Entertainment Industry and Sanctuary Permittee shall have a written Emergency Action Plan readily available and posted in a conspicuous place in the event of an escape, an attack or an emergency evacuation, and shall submit a copy to the department upon application, renewal of a permit and addition of species. The Emergency Action Plan shall be titled, with a revision date, updated annually and include, but is not limited to the following:


List of the re-capture equipment available, including but not limited to darting equipment, nets, traps, and chemical immobilization drugs;


Description of humane lethal dispatch methods for various animals and a list of qualified personnel who are trained to carry out the methods;
List of medical supplies/first aid kits and where they are located;
Description of mobile transport cages and equipment on hand;
List of emergency telephone numbers that includes the local department field office, department regional office, and animal control agencies; and
Written plan of action for emergencies.
Permittees are responsible for the capture, and for the costs incurred by the Department related to capture or elimination of the threat, of an escaped animal or the use of humane lethal force required to capture an animal that escapes. If an escaped animal becomes a public safety threat, state, federal, or local law enforcement personnel have the authority to use appropriate lethal force required to end the threat.


Any incident involving an animal held under a Wildlife Holding or Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary Permit that results in serious injury or death to a person shall be reported immediately to the department’s District office having jurisdiction over the area in which the serious injury and death has occurred. If the Department determines that serious injury or death has occurred as a result of contact with an animal held under the authority of a Wildlife Holding, or Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary Permit, the authorizations and conditions of the permit may be reviewed and subject to change by the Department. Additional conditions to the permit may be added at any time to provide for human health and safety.


Permittees shall report by telephone immediately and at first knowledge of the intentional or unintentional escape or release of a wild animal to the Department District biologist and the nearest law enforcement agency of the city or county in which the wild animal was released or escaped.


Wildlife Sanctuaries must follow Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries standards and requirements in effect on January 20, 2017. Wildlife Sanctuaries shall have:


No captive breeding;


No commercial trade in animals or animal parts;


No public tours allowed that are not guided and conducted in a manner that minimizes the impact on the animals and their environment, does not cause them stress, and gives them the ability to seek visual barriers and shelter;


Animals are not exhibited or taken from the sanctuary or enclosures/habitats for non-medical reasons; and


The public does not have direct contact with wildlife.


Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary Permittees holding black bears, cougars, or wolves exhibited directly to the public or involving guided tours and inclusive of zoos and aquariums, must show annual proof of liability insurance policy with an insurer authorized or approved to write such insurance in Oregon that covers claims or injury or damage to persons or property caused by wildlife held on their permit or any resulting claims against the state. The amount of the insurance coverage shall be not less than one million US dollars.


Wildlife used in filmed media entertainment must follow the American Humane Association’s (AHA) Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media monitored by AHA Certified Animal Safety Representatives and use held wildlife in productions that attain the American Humane Association rating of acceptable or outstanding.


For-profit and non-profit Zoos and Aquariums that are not AZA or ZAA accredited and are holding native wildlife must gain AZA or ZAA accreditation status by January 21, 2022. For purposes of Chapter 635 Division 44 rules, AZA and ZAA are considered equivalent in quality of standards for holding native Oregon wildlife.

Source: Rule 635-044-0475 — Wildlife Held by Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Wildlife Sanctuaries, https://secure.­sos.­state.­or.­us/oard/view.­action?ruleNumber=635-044-0475.

Definition of Terms
Protected Wildlife
Capture and Holding of Wildlife
Holding Permit Requirements
Holding of Live Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Cougar (Puma concolor), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Wolf (Canis lupus), Raccoon (Procyon lotor) and Skunk (Mephitis spp.)
Grandfathering the Possession of Black Bear, Cougar, Bobcat, Wolf, Raccoon, Skunk, Squirrel, Chipmunk and Other Non-game Wildlife Species Legally Held as Pets
Wildlife Held by Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry and Wildlife Sanctuaries
Holding of Nongame Wildlife
Cost, Expiration Date, and Changes to a Wildlife Holding, Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Wildlife Sanctuary Permit
Requirements for Care of Wildlife Held in Captivity
Inspection of Facilities
Ownership of Captured Wildlife Held in Captivity
Possession of Coyote Prohibited Without Permit
License Required to Propagate Game Birds
Shipping Requirements for Propagated Game Birds
Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements for Game Bird Propagation License
Cancellation and Non-Renewal of Game Bird Propagation License or Wildlife Holding or Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Wildlife Sanctuary Permit
Disposition of Wildlife Upon License Suspension, Revocation, Nonrenewal or Denial
Control of Disease Outbreaks in Captive Wildlife
Last Updated

Jun. 8, 2021

Rule 635-044-0475’s source at or​.us