What Animals Gallop? 10 Examples with Pictures

When I recently took my nephews and nieces to a horse ranch, they seemed fascinated by how the animals would gallop across the open fields. It was indeed a fantastic sight.

As I was talking to the ranch owner, I gained a unique insight into the animal kingdom. The owner told me that horses are not the only animal that can gallop.

Thanks to movies and songs, it is probably the only creature we associate with the galloping. But animals like donkeys, antelopes, boars, and deer are capable of galloping.

This got my nephews and nieces excited, and we decided to make a list of animals that gallop. Some of the animals that we found that can gallop are as follows:

Animals that gallop:

  • Camels
  • Llamas
  • Deer
  • Horses
  • Bears
  • Reindeer
  • Donkeys
  • Gazelles
  • Boars
  • Giraffe

Table of Contents

List of animals that gallop:

1. Camels

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Camels can gallop quite fast, and they do so with a three-step gait.

You will be surprised to know that adult camels, both male and female, can gallop at the speed of thirty-two to forty kilometers per hour.

If you have heard stories of camel racing from Western Asia or North Africa, then you must have heard terrifying stories of children being used as jockeys in these camel races.

However, human rights activists have worked hard to ban these races, and in the UAE and the Middle East, where these races are pretty standard, there is a complete nationwide ban on any underage labor.

In the camel races held in these countries, robotic whips make the animal race faster. Thus, like horses, camels can also gallop and are used in races, but not for equestrian purposes.

Additionally, when camels are not being used for races, they can be seen carrying loads.

2. Llamas

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Llamas are friendly animals and belong to the camel family. Like camels, these creatures too can gallop.

Llamas can also walk and pace in a leisurely manner similar to horses.

But when predators chase llamas, they can gallop at a speed that can reach up to forty miles per hour.

When a llama gallops, you will find that all four feet of the animal are off the ground simultaneously.

It will seem an ungainly manner of movement for an onlooker, but it helps the creature move forward quickly.

The regular movement is walking and pace, a single track movement. Therefore, when it gallops, it needs to move all four limbs together.

3. Deer

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Deer belong to the Cervidae family, and in the wild, it is often one the favored prey of apex predators.

Hence, the movement of the deer has to be swift to run away from the predators.

You will find that deer gallops away from predators, in short, swift bursts, and their speed can reach up to thirty to forty miles per hour.

What sets the deer apart from other animals is its ability to continue galloping for three to four hours.

If you have ever observed a cheetah hunting a deer, you will find even though the cheetah is one of the fastest animals on the earth; it can fail to bring down a deer because it can continue galloping at the speed of twenty-five miles per hour for nearly four hours.

The cheetah gets tired in a matter of minutes and often lets the prey go.

4. Horses

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Horses are the best animal that can gallop, canter, and trot. When you think of an animal galloping across an open field, you naturally think of a horse.

The natural gait is made for galloping, making the creature ideal for races and equestrian sports.

The average speed can range anywhere between forty to forty-eight kilometers.

If you observe a galloping horse, you will find that all four legs of a horse are often in the air at a particular moment.

When a horse is in full gallop, records show that horses can cover nearly two to two and a half miles in a relatively short time span.

5. Bears

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Bears can run breakneck and varying speeds when it comes to running.

You will find that bears can shuffle, run, walk and even gallop. But they will break into a gallop only when they hunt for food or feel threatened. 

The galloping of a bear is also quite different from that of other animals. The creature gives more load while galloping on its forelimbs than on its hind limbs.

The pressure distribution between the limbs is approximately forty percent versus sixty percent.

It gives more pressure on the forelimbs and less pressure on the hind limbs. This galloping manner makes it easier for a bear to stop while running.

6. Reindeer

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Reindeer like camels and deer can trot and gallop at several speeds.

The gait of the reindeer is also similar to that of a deer, however, reindeer generally do not gallop. They will break into a gallop only when threatened by a predator.

The North American reindeer are known to gallop quite fast, and these creatures can reach the speed of thirty-seven to fifty kilometers per hour.

The reindeer is one of the few animals used for racing other than horses.

In Russia, reindeer racing is quite famous, and here several of the animals are used together in the sled races held in the winter months.

7. Donkeys

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Donkeys like horses can gallop quite fast. They are known to gallop like horses. However, they cannot reach high speeds.

Donkeys can reach a maximum speed of twenty to thirty miles per hour in a single gallop.

These animals generally don’t gallop as they prefer to trot or pace. They will gallop only when they feel threatened.

Donkeys will break into a gallop when they cannot pace themselves while running fast.

Even though there is a resemblance between the gallop of a horse and donkey, you will not find any grace in the manner in which donkeys gallop.

8. Gazelles

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Gazelles are pretty graceful animals found mainly in the African savannas and grasslands.

The open grounds are perfect for the gazelles to run fast, and wildlife photographers have often taken pictures of gazelles galloping.

Research has shown that in the wild, gazelles can gallop quite fast, especially when running away from predators.

Gazelles can reach up to a speed of sixty miles per hour in a single gallop, and they can run at a sustained speed of fifty miles per hour.

This ability of gazelles makes them fast runners, and they are pretty adept at galloping.

While galloping gazelles are known to leap relatively high and this adds to the overall feat of the animal’s ability to gallop while also covering more distance away from predators.

9. Boars

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Boars have hooves, and they can run quite fast. However, these creatures cannot gallop in the manner of horses and deer.

If you have observed the gait of boars, you will find that they can trot, walk, and when necessary, they can run fast.

When a predator chases a boar in the wild, the creature will run very fast, almost resembling a gallop, while also jumping high to escape the predator.

Boars are pretty aggressive, and hence, their gait while running has aggression and swiftness.

Boars are known to reach the speed of forty kilometers per hour while running, and they can jump up to the height of one hundred and fifty centimeters.

When boars break into a gallop-like motion, it is only for a short distance because their stout bodies cannot support this motion for a long distance.

10. Giraffes

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Giraffes are also capable of galloping, although they have quite an unusual body.

When you think of a giraffe’s long neck, you do not associate it with the fact that the animal can gallop. But in reality, giraffes can gallop quite fast.

The galloping motions of giraffes are not very graceful as the forelimbs and the hind limbs of a giraffe do not move in unison whenever they gallop.

However, giraffes are known to reach a speed of nearly fifty-six kilometers per hour in a single gallop, and they especially break into the run when chased by a predator or when on the lookout for food.

In summary

Galloping is just for horses & ponies, other four-legged animals that gallop are camels, llamas, deer, horses, bears, reindeer, donkeys, gazelles, boars, and giraffes. While these animals can break into a full gallop or three-step gaits, the bear and boar use a single-track walking gait.

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