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Personal Property

Possession Of Animals

Animals ferae naturae, or wild animals, are those that cannot be completely domesticated. A degree of force or skill is necessary to maintain control over them. Gaining possession is a means of obtaining title to, or ownership of, wild animals.

Generally an owner of land has the right to capture or kill a wild animal on her property and upon doing so, the animal is regarded as belonging to that individual because she owns the soil. The traditional legal principle has been that one who tames a wild animal is regarded as its owner provided it appears to exhibit animus revertendi, or the intent to return to the owner's domicile. Conversely when a captured wild animal escapes and returns to its natural habitat without any apparent intent to return to the captor's domicile, the captor forfeits all personal property right and the animal may be captured by anyone.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Patients Rights to PlatPersonal Property - Possession, Possession Of Animals, Lost, Mislaid, And Abandoned Property, Confusion And Accession - Gifts