LEXINGTON COUNTY CHRONICLE (Columbia, S Carolina) 18 January 03 County bans exotic animals (Vicki Shealy) Lexington County gave final approval to a ban of exotic animals including a list from bears to rhinos, But county leaders left the door open for amending the new law to allow animal owners certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep their animals. The new ban includes, hippos, giraffes, large cats, wolves, coyotes, hyenas, jackals, rhinos, gorillas, elephants and some crocodile and alligator-related animals. Dropped from the new regulations were exemptions for USDA regulated animal owners. The county backed off of the exception after hearing from a USDA inspector that enforcement of federal regulations was lax. The county will give animal owners a three to six-month grace period to get their animals out of the county.