Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them...or why you should think twice before owning them.
So the new Movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is coming out in theaters soon and you want to go out and buy your own "fantastic beast." Although, maybe not the same kind of beast, since the movie surrounds itself around animals that don't exist in our world like Dragons, Bowtruckles, and Hippogriffs. But maybe you are so inclined to go out and buy the closest thing you can get to a magical beast, which would be some kind of wild, non-domestic animal. Before you go out and buy a wild animal, there are a few things you should know about Texas law and the ownership of wild animals.
The law divides animals into two classes: wild and domestic. The owners of wild animals like Boars, wolves, or lions are presumed to already know of the animal's wild propensities. Whereas, with domestic animals, owners are generally not liable unless they have reason to know their animal had dangerous propensities. This rule is often referred to as the "free bite rule," meaning owners of domestic animals like dogs, have one free bite where they are not liable since they presumable had no knowledge of their dog's propensity to bite someone. After their dog bites or attacks someone one time, the next time it happens they would be liable because of the knowledge of the past incident.With wild animals, as an owner you are strictly liable for the animal's behavior. There is no "free bite rule," with wild animals.
So maybe you are also into the HBO Tv show Game of Thrones, and decide to go out and buy your own Dire Wolf to watch the show with you on Sunday nights. A wolf under the law is considered to be a wild animal. If your wolf attacks one of your friends at one of your watch parties, it's no excuse to say my wolf has never attacked anyone before. That's because under the law as the owner of that wolf you are presumed to know about it's dangerous characteristics. There are other laws that come into play as well that can put the Plaintiff at fault too, lke assumption of the risk, but we will save that for another discussion. The point is, think twice before you go out and buy your own "fantastic beast," because you may be strictly liable under Texas Law.