18 Most Friendly Wild Animals in the World

Not all undomesticated animals are after your life, like lions, crocodiles, and sharks. In fact, some could be better pets for you than certain dogs and cats we’ve welcomed into our homes. Yes, you have to be careful with all wild animals, but these 18 can be great to be around.


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The capybara is the largest rodent on earth and is referred to by many as the friendliest, most harmless wild animal. Unless it’s severely provoked, like our other pets, the capybara is barely aggressive towards humans or even other animals like dogs and cats. They can even be trained to do tricks.


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Due to the absence of predators, manatees have lost the aggressive tendencies required to attack or defend themselves. These slow-moving mammals have developed into gentle giants that are curious enough to approach swimmers and divers in the wild. They don’t mind getting their bellies rubbed too.


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Dolphins are social and inquisitive animals that also have a reputation for being one of the smartest on the planet. Although they generally ignore humans in the wild, they’ve been known to approach boats and even save humans from shark attacks and drowning.

Wild Sheep

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Sheep like the bighorn and thinhorn sheep, especially their lambs, are docile animals that barely get aggressive toward humans. Instead, they’ll most likely run away from you when they feel threatened. Although there are cases of them attacking people, these are extremely rare and occur only when they’re isolated and have to defend themselves.


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The llamas are like sheep—they are barely aggressive towards humans and will most likely run away when they feel threatened. Many find their soft, fluffy, and luxurious fur coats pleasant to touch, and, as Spruce Pets shares, “if properly socialized from a young age, they can make very calm, gentle companions.”

Capuchin Monkeys

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Popular pets in the US, capuchin monkeys are considered by some to be the most friendly primates, apart from humans, of course. Although they’re social animals that can get attached to their handlers, having them as pets comes with troubles. The Spruce shares that they’re active animals that need a lot of space and physical stimulation to be happy—things humans barely give them in captivity.


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Giraffes are another group of friendly giants on our list. They have gentle personalities and just love to travel, eat, and sleep. No matter how sociable they are in captivity, however, they are still wary of humans and may get aggressive when threatened.

Giant Pandas

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The panda is an endangered species that loves to relax and be taken care of. Although USA Today shares cases where pandas have become aggressive towards people when threatened, there is no record of them killing anyone. There are even programs where humans can get up close and personal with them for feeding and petting.


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Elephants are not as harmless as manatees or manta rays. Nonetheless, they’re gentle giants known to form strong bonds or even play with handlers. They’re social and extremely intelligent animals that understand human body language and can be taught how to paint on canvas.

Sea Lions

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Another animal you’ll see handlers playing around with in zoos is the sea lion. They are friendly animals that love to interact and play with humans, so much so that they can be taught to do playful tricks. Due to their size, however, they can get dangerous when protecting their young.

Guinea Pigs

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Guinea pigs are sociable animals that enjoy company with other guinea pigs and also attention from humans. Although they may be nervous around you at first, Spruce Pets says they aren’t likely to bite even when stressed, and you can easily tame one by gently caring for it.

Whale Sharks

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How surprising is it that there are sharks that are never aggressive toward humans? Whale sharks, the third-largest fish in the ocean, are known to be indifferent about divers swimming close by and interacting with them. Maybe this is because they only feed on tiny plankton, larvae, and jellyfish.


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With wallabies, you have animals with calm personalities and mild temperaments that readily accept food gifts from humans. The problem with them, however, is that friendly behavior toward you can quickly change to aggressiveness when there isn’t anything to feed them and keep them happy. They may not make the best pets, but they can be very affectionate to their handlers.

Beluga Whales

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Beluga whales are some of the smallest and friendliest whale species around. They’re even more gentle with each other than dolphins in the wild, and they’re so comfortable around humans that they have been used to watch over naval bases, help divers, and find lost military equipment, according to The Independent.


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Ferrets can be playful and easily attached to their handlers. They’re part of the few wild animals on our list that have been successfully converted into house pets, even if they may still bite when held too tightly or startled. They also get along well with strangers, making them good family-friendly companions.

Bearded Dragons

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If you need a calm and secure reptile as a pet, the bearded dragon is your best bet. It’s a docile species of lizard that’s barely startled when held and can even relax on your laps for extended periods. You should know that they can still bite when they feel threatened, and the CDC advises that you wash your hands after handling them to avoid a salmonella infection.


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Swans are generally peaceful, smart creatures that have been known to recognize faces and are not afraid to approach humans. They may have powerful wings that some claim could break human hands. But they’ll only get aggressive when they perceive a threat to their nests or chicks.

Manta Rays

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These filter feeders are some of the largest and most intelligent creatures you’ll find in the ocean. Manta rays are entirely harmless towards humans and never display aggressive tendencies, even if their size may seem intimidating. You’re still advised not to touch them, but only because you may pass infections on to them.

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