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12 Most Peaceful Animals (With Pictures)

While you can find plenty of aggressive animals in the wild, there are also creatures that are surprisingly peaceful. These calm, docile animals aren’t considered to be a threat to other animals or the humans that approach them.

What are some of the world’s gentlest animals, and what makes these animals so calm? Read on to learn more about some of the world’s most peaceful animals.

12 Most Peaceful Animals

Many types of animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, are friendly and calm. These animals are some of the most docile creatures you can find.

1. Doves

Zenaida Dove on the grass
Zenaida Dove on the grass | image by Brandon Trentler via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Not only are doves a symbol of peace, but they’re known for being gentle! These birds mostly feed on fruits and seeds and will even eat out of people’s hands. Some dove species, like mourning doves, even mate for life.

Doves and pigeons belong to the same family of birds, which includes more than 300 species. Usually, birds classified as doves are smaller, while pigeons are larger. You can find these birds in almost every part of the world, but there are no doves in Antarctica or the Sahara Desert.

2. Leopard Geckos

Leopard Gecko
Leopard Gecko

This lizard is drawn to deserts and dry grassland habitats. In the wild, it can be found in Asia and the Middle East, but the animal is also a popular pet. Some people have even described it as the only domesticated lizard species.

Leopard geckos aren’t aggressive and are comfortable around humans. While they’re curious animals, they’re friendly and are easily tamed. Even though these lizards are known for being docile, they’re active predators that mostly feed on small insects.

3. Sheep

Flock of sheep
Flock of sheep

Also known as domestic sheep, these animals are usually kept as livestock. Sheep are raised for their milk, meat, and fleece, which is used to make wool. They’re very social animals that like to communicate with each other through vocalizations called bleating.

Female sheep, which are called ewes, are extremely peaceful animals, as are young lambs. However, male sheep, or rams, can sometimes be aggressive during the breeding season. Rams are sometimes surgically castrated, which makes them just as docile as other types of sheep!

4. Echidnas

Echidna showing its sharp quills
Echidna showing its sharp quills | image by S J Bennett via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The echidna is considered to be one of the oldest mammal species that’s alive today. It can be found in New Guinea and Australia, where it lives in all kinds of habitats, including deserts and snowy mountains! Echidnas are covered in quills and love to eat ants, earning them the nickname “spiny anteater.”

Most echidna species are timid and will curl up into a ball when they feel threatened. However, some species, like the long-beaked echidna, don’t have natural predators. These echidnas are especially friendly and docile and will happily interact with humans.

5. Quokkas

Quokka | Image by Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay

Many people have described quokkas as the happiest creatures in the animal kingdom! Quokkas are marsupials that are similar in size to domestic cats. They’re native to Australia, but most of the quokka population can be found on Rottnest Island.

When you view a quokka from the front, it looks like it’s smiling, which has caused many humans to approach them for selfies. To protect quokkas, Rottnest Island has bans against petting or feeding humans. Despite these restrictions, quokkas are peaceful and friendly animals that are very comfortable around people.

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6. Alpacas

Alpaca | Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The alpaca is a South American mammal that’s a part of the camel family. These animals are bred for their fur, which is used to make sweaters, blankets, and other items. Since alpacas have very soft feet, they don’t cause any damage to grass when they graze for food.

Experts believe that Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years! While they occasionally spit to show dominance, they’re known for being gentle and friendly. Alpacas are very social and sometimes communicate with each other by humming.

7. Cockatiels

Cockatiels perching
Cockatiels perching | Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay

You can only find cockatiels in Australia, where they usually live around bodies of water. Cockatiels are extremely social birds that live in flocks and mate for life. One of the cockatiel’s most distinctive features is its head crest, which changes position based on the bird’s mood!

While cockatiels love to spend time with each other, they’re timid around other birds. Since they’re docile, affectionate birds, many people keep them as pets. Not only are cocktails peaceful, but they’re highly intelligent and can be taught all kinds of tricks!

8. Sloths

Sloth | Image by Michael Mosimann from Pixabay

Even though sloths have long claws, they don’t pose a threat to humans or other animals. Sloths aren’t able to move very fast and only cover around 41 yards a day on average. Since sloths have slow metabolisms and eat leafy, low-nutrient diets, they don’t have much energy.

Sloths usually spend their time sleeping or napping. While most sloths only sleep for a few hours at a time, those naps can add up to more than 15 hours of sleep per day! Some sloth species grow algae on their fur, which helps them to camouflage themselves.

9. Manatees

A manatee underwater
A manatee underwater | Image by PublicDomainImages from Pixabay

These aquatic mammals like to graze on seagrass, which is why they’re sometimes called sea cows! Manatees are slow-moving herbivores that usually travel at speeds of around five miles per hour. Since manatees have no natural predators, they’re virtually fearless and are comfortable around humans.

Since manatees don’t have any reason to show aggression, they’re incredibly gentle creatures. Unfortunately, this friendly personality has put them at risk. It’s common for curious manatees to swim towards boats, which can have fatal results. An estimated 25% of yearly manatee deaths are caused by watercraft collisions.

10. Capybaras

Capybara | Image by sharkolot from Pixabay

Weighing up to 150 pounds and measuring as long as 4.4 feet, the capybara is the world’s largest rodent! It can be found across South America, where it prefers to live near bodies of water. Capybaras eat a variety of plants, including fruit, leaves, grasses, and aquatic plants.

The capybara is known for being calm and docile, even when they’re around humans or other animals. It’s not unusual to see other animals sitting on capybaras. Some birds will even eat pests in a capybara’s fur. Capybara also enjoy spending time around each other, and usually live in groups of 10 to 20 animals.

11. Green Turtles

Green turtle underwater
Green turtle underwater | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The green turtle is the only type of sea turtle that eats a herbivorous diet! It can be found in both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, where it typically lives in shallow water. Green turtles like to graze on seagrass, which helps to keep seabeds healthy.

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Green turtles spend most of their lives in the water, but will travel to beaches to breed. They may also leave the water to sunbathe alongside other animals, like seals. While some sea turtles can be aggressive during mating season, green turtles tend to be calm and peaceful.

12. Hedgehogs

Hedgehog on the grass
Hedgehog on the grass | image by Karen Roe via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

These small, spiny animals can be found in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Europe. Hedgehogs are omnivores that eat a varied diet, munching on foods like berries, grasses, and insects. Many of the insects hedgehogs eat are considered pests, making them helpful to gardeners.

When a hedgehog feels threatened, it usually rolls itself into a ball. Even though hedgehogs are wild animals, they’re very docile and can be tamed by humans. This has led many people to keep hedgehogs as pets.

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