9 Popular Animals That Can’t Be Domesticated

Animals That Can’t Be Domesticated

Humans have domesticated numerous animals throughout history, and as a result, they play a significant role in our daily lives and society.

Despite our best efforts, certain animals can’t be domesticated.

The distinction between domesticated and tamed animals is one that needs to be made.

The ability to escape and return to nature distinguishes tamed animals from domesticated ones.

In our article, we’ll list animals that can’t be domesticated. 

1. Zebra


The list of animals that can’t be domesticated will begin with this stunning creature.

During their travels to Africa in the 19th century, colonists attempted to domesticate zebras. 

Since it was difficult to find replacement horses, their horses were becoming ill. Turning to zebras seemed to be the simplest approach. 

But it turned out that this was an impossible assignment. Zebras were far more difficult to catch than horses; even when they were, they were smaller and less comfortable to ride.

The main reason zebras were never tamed is because they tend to be more violent.

2. Coyote

coyote Animals That Can’t Be Domesticated

In the spring, a wild coyote directs its gaze at the camera. Coyotes naturally shy away from people.

Thus, all attempts to domesticate them have failed. Because these animals that can’t be domesticated may be afflicted with dangerous diseases like tularemia and rabies, human breeders are afraid of them.

Nevertheless, some breeders have taken the audacious step of domesticating the coyote despite the dangers.

One typical method of domesticating them is breeding a male coyote with a female dog. While less hostile towards people, the resulting hybrid is not a true coyote.

A different tactic is to remove newborn wild coyotes from their parents and rear them until they are fully grown.

After three generations, wild coyotes lose their fear of people but are still not regarded as domestic animals.

Coyote domestication attempts have resulted in attacks on the breeder. This occurs because a nearby coyote views humans as prospective prey and waits for the right moment to attack. 

These creatures are, incidentally, gradually being domesticated. Obviously, this is taking place in the same way as it most likely happened with bonobos.

It is ideal for pet owners to know which animals they should have nearby, especially if kids are present.

3. Dingo

Dingoes Animals That Can't be Domesticated

Dingoes are Australian natural creatures that resemble dogs but cannot be domesticated.

Dingoes are almost tough to domesticate, even though they resemble dogs.

They are also viewed as pests by Australian farmers. Strangely, humans only partially domesticated the dingo thousands of years ago before letting them return to the wild.

Dog domestication and dingo domestication differ very little from one another.

While dingoes are considered food sources now, dogs are considered friends by early native Australians.

On top of that, local Australians didn’t only breed the animal due to its attractive traits.

4. Moose

Moose Animals That Can't be Domesticated

When horse cavalry was fashionable a few centuries ago, King Karl XI of Sweden replaced his horses with a more dreadful animal.

A creature that, at first look, would make his adversaries’ horses flee the battleground. 

He finally decided on the moose, but the daring king’s plan was doomed to failure.

He eventually discovered that it was too unsafe to approach the moose. When it got compulsively aggressive during the mating season, this worsened.

In addition, the moose has a varied diet that is challenging to provide for and is susceptible to disease.

Because they are intelligent, moose usually stay away from battle zones.

When the moose observed another moose being killed in battle, they ran away. They were also unsuccessful in other attempts to use them as a source of meat.

They won’t go anywhere after learning that the moose transported to the abattoir didn’t return.

5. Raccoon


Raccoons are also one of the animals that can’t be domesticated yet would have made an excellent pet.

They are excellent working animals since they are expert climbers and can squeeze through small openings like burglars.

Raccoons might be useful to elderly and physically handicapped people if they can be effectively domesticated.

But they shouldn’t be utilized as working animals because they are not domesticated. 

Raccoons may look cute, but they are actually highly violent and destructive.

They are extremely curious, prefer to roam, and when confined to an area, they can rapidly turn aggressive. 

Raccoon bites can be deadly, and rabies can be spread through them.

Raccoons frequently manage to open whatever they want to access because they have good hand-eye coordination (like humans).

The ability to escape uncomfortable circumstances is another quality that makes it difficult to domesticate raccoons.

6. Fox

Fox Animals That Can’t Be Domesticated

Foxes were once tamed, but sadly they all perished. Modern efforts to re-domesticate them, however, were only partially successful.

Ironically, the tamed version of the extinct fox was called the Yaghan or Fuegian dog. 

The Andean fox, also known as the culpeo, was domesticated from wild populations.

Surprisingly, the Fuegian dog was uncommon at this time. This was probably because it wasn’t as helpful as a typical dog. 

In addition, it is known that fox domestication efforts long before the Fuegian foxes were abandoned in favor of cat domestication.

Cats were chosen over foxes since they couldn’t decide what to employ them for. Foxes are difficult to domesticate due to their extreme obstinacy.

7. Asian Elephant

Asian Elephant - Animals With Trunks
by shankar s. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Asian elephants are still not regarded as domestic animals and cannot be domesticated, despite having been maintained and educated for more than 3,000 years.

They are instead referred to as wild or domesticated animals. Because they are not selectively bred, Asian elephants that are captured and trained are not considered domesticated.

Asian elephants must be selectively bred for up to 12 generations to be domesticated.

By the 12th century, they should be genetically distinct from their wild forebears and be considered domestic.

Some of these animals that can’t be domesticated and that have been captured are typically not selectively bred; just a small number of them were beyond the second generation.

As a result, Asian elephants are considered wild creatures and would only permit human riding if properly taught.

However, these animals are quite unpredictable, just like any wild animal.

8. Bonobo

Bonobos Animals That Can't be Domesticated

Bonobos stand out among the other species on our list of animals that can’t be domesticated since they are not considered wild creatures.

They are domestic animals even though humans have not domesticated them.

There is still debate among scientists as to how bonobos managed to domesticate themselves.

The extraordinary domestication of bonobos is thought to have begun some two million years ago, shortly after the Congo River was established.

This incident caused the chimpanzees and bonobo ancestors that resided there to split apart.

Because they competed for food with the larger gorillas on the river’s north bank, the primates grew larger and more violent.

On the other side of the river were the apes that would eventually give rise to the bonobos.

They didn’t have to compete with gorillas for food because there was more than enough for everyone.

Female bonobos started becoming choosy about the males they wanted to mate with, and as they preferred softer males, aggressive males started to disappear.

9. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus Animals That Can’t Be Domesticated

This is the last on our list of animals that can’t be domesticated.

One of the deadliest animals in the world and one of the non-domesticable animals, the hippopotamus, has been prudently avoided by humans.

More humans are killed by hippos yearly than lions, tigers, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceroses combined.

Any interaction between a hippo and a human is likely to be disastrous.

Hippopotamuses are swift and have a huge set of teeth.

Despite their enormous weight, Hippos can run up to 48 km/h (30 mph). Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, hardly goes over 45 km/h (28 mph).

However, separate initiatives to domesticate the hippo have been made. Sadly, those attempts failed miserably.

He tried to domesticate the hippo, but it cost him his life. Els gave the beast the name Humphrey and treated it like a pet.

He once rode it and took Humphrey swimming, saying he compared the animal to his son.

The hippo, slaughtered in the river they used to swim in, did not feel the same way about Els.

Before killing Els, the neighborhood saw Humphrey as a local tyrant.

A father and his grandson were reportedly hunted by Humphrey when they canoeed on a river that passed through Els’ land.

They ended up climbing a tree. The hippo was infamous for attacking and killing other animals and pursuing players near a golf course.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like