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Ferae Naturae

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Ex proprio motu (ex mero motu) to File

[Latin, Of a wild nature or disposition.]

Animals that are wild by nature are called ferae naturae, and possession is a means of acquiring title to such animals. The mere chasing of an animal ferae naturae does not give one party the right to title against another party who captures it through intervention. If, however, a wild animal is either killed or caught in a trap so that the capture is certain, the individual who traps or mortally wounds it acquires a vested right to possession and title that is not defeatable by another's intervention.

Animals ferae naturae differ from those that are tame or domesticated, or domitae, in which an individual can have an absolute property right.

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