What Animals Are Shy? (With 9 Examples!)

While talking to a wildlife photographer, I noticed an unusual observation she had made while taking pictures of animals in the Sahara.

According to her, several creatures in the African Sahara and the savannah are pretty challenging to photograph, not because they are dangerous or difficult to spot, but because they are shy!

I always associated animals in the African jungle with being large and majestic like lions, giraffes, and zebras.

Animals that are shy:

  • Meerkat
  • Deer
  • Porcupine
  • Chameleon
  • Sloth
  • Owl
  • Beaver
  • Koala
  • Rabbit

List of animals that are shy:

1. Meerkat

meerkat 21052022

Meerkats are carnivores that belong to the mongoose family. They live in groups or families called ‘mobs.’

These creatures avoid interaction with any other species and a unique thing about them is that they always fall asleep by huddling together in a group.

This creature is distinguished by its timid, calm, and cooperative nature and the usual habitats of meerkats are underground burrows.

They are usually found in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, the Namib Desert in Namibia and South Western Angola, and South Africa.

They live with their entire families in complex burrows that they dig underground.

Meerkats will not venture out unless it is to scavenge for food. After which, they are quick to hide and return to their burrows and their families.

2. Deer

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Deer are considered to be one of the shyest animals. When you think of deer, you associate shyness, timidity, and modesty with it.

Deer will avoid danger at all costs, and you will find that the first thing it does when it senses danger is to flee the area.

It is not difficult to photograph a herd of deer, but you will find that the herd tends to move away from you whenever you move close to them.

Deer prefer to avoid confrontations as they are pretty shy. They like to keep to themselves.

As deer are herbivorous, they feed on plant-based materials like leaves, shoots, fruits, and nuts.

They will venture out only to feed and otherwise stay with the herd and avoid interactions with other creatures. 

3. Porcupine

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Porcupines are solitary creatures and prefer to be left alone. Despite their dangerous spines, you will find that porcupines are pretty shy creatures.

They like to avoid all interactions with human beings, and you will find that they turn themselves into a ball at the tiniest provocation.

Moreover, porcupines will stay in their den or hollows of trees throughout the day and only venture out at night searching for food.

They like to stay away from contact with other creatures and will attack only when there is no other option.

Porcupines typically survive on the inner barks of trees, but they can sometimes eat seeds, berries, and fruits.

However, they will forage for food only at night when they are sure they will not be disturbed.

4. Chameleon

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Chameleons are reptiles, and they may appear to be repulsive, but in reality, they are pretty timid creatures.

It is often challenging to spot chameleons as they can camouflage themselves quite well.

Zoologists often mention that chameleons are one of the most misunderstood reptiles. These creatures hardly ever attack.

They will avoid all types of confrontation and prefer hiding from any danger.

Only when they are backed into a corner and feel that they have no escape will a chameleon bite or lurch at you.

If you move away, the reptile will move from the place and not become defensive.

When a chameleon takes on a darker shade, it usually feels threatened or frightened by its surroundings. 

5. Sloth

sloth 23102021

Sloths are unique creatures, and they are easily distinguished by their ability to spend most of their time hanging from the branches of trees.

Sloths are also quite shy and timid creatures. However, male sloths are shyer compared to female ones.

Female sloths sometimes assemble, but they will avoid interaction with other creatures.

Because sloths are pretty shy, you will find that they are primarily nocturnal.

They venture out in search of food only at night when they are assured that there will be hardly any other creatures to prevent them from finding any.

Moreover, the rates at which sloths move are pretty slow, even when chased by predators.

This is the primary reason why sloths avoid coming out in the open in daylight and stay in the upper branches of trees.

6. Owl

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Owls are shy and solitary creatures, and they avoid interactions with humans.

You might hear the hooting of owls at night, but you will find it difficult to locate these birds even at night.

Owls are excellent hunters, and they have excellent binocular vision. This makes it easier for the birds to identify their prey even when far away.

Owls also can camouflage themselves, which adds to their innate shy and timid nature.

Certain owls can thoroughly blend in with the tree’s bark on which they are perched which can make it more difficult for you to identify the bird.

You can only make out the bird by following the hooting sounds.

But if the owl understands that you are looking for it, it will become quiet, making it more challenging to identify it.

7. Beaver

beaver 21052022

Beavers are wild animals that belong to the rodent family. They tend to stay in their habitats and do not venture out unless the need for food arises.

They tend to dive into the water whenever they see humans and avoid being sighted. Likewise, beavers venture out on land in search of food at night.

A wildlife photographer friend told me beavers are pretty challenging to be photographed.

Beavers are pretty shy, and they will avoid any contact with other creatures.

However, beavers are pretty gentle creatures but they will avoid any contact with humans. They avoid all confrontation with humans and attack only when they are threatened.

They have developed this behavior to avoid interacting with larger animals.

Beavers are indeed the quintessential shy and timid creatures of the animal kingdom.

8. Koala

koala hanging from tree branch 150052022

Koalas, like many other animals, do not enjoy interactions with humans and other creatures. They are pretty shy and timid and tend to keep to themselves.

You will find that koalas use their hands to climb and hide in the higher branches of trees whenever they encounter humans or see one approaching their habitat.

This makes it challenging to photograph wild koalas.

They survive primarily on eucalyptus leaves, and these trees can be pretty tall.

Koalas are excellent climbers, and they can easily reach the upper branches of the trees in search of young leaves.

The inherent fear of humans is what makes koalas shy and timid. This is the primary reason you will not see koalas easily in the wild unless you are trained for it.

9. Rabbit

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Rabbits are pretty shy creatures, and even as pets, they try to keep to themselves.

In the wild, rabbits will avoid contact with humans and avoid being photographed.

You will find that rabbits are quick to hide in their burrows the moment they sense the presence of humans or any creature that is bigger than themselves.

Rabbits are afraid of larger animals, making them quite skittish and shy of interactions.

They will avoid getting out of their burrows if they sense the presence of a larger animal.

If you have a pet rabbit and want it to overcome its shyness, you will have to be careful and wait for the creature to overcome its natural timidity.

You cannot force rabbits to interact with other people, and they tend to avoid interaction with unknown people.

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