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The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: June 17, 2018
The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World

Just like people, some animals are gregarious and enjoy being in groups, herds or in pairs throughout their lives, while others prefer solitude, tranquility and being on their own.

This does not mean that these solitary species are lonely, sad, melancholy or depressed; they are self-reliant, and that's just how they can survive. Some animals are wary of strangers, and they are happy and independent this way. These solitary animals usually only look for company when it comes to reproducing.

Keep reading this AnimalWised article and you will discover the 10 most solitary animals in the world. If you're introverted, perhaps you can relate to some of them!

You may also be interested in: The 10 Most Venomous Animals in the World

Bears

All bears, from the polar bear to the grizzly, like to live alone. It is in the nature of bears to be solitary animals, and most species are like this, especially the giant pandas, who only have eyes for bamboo branches. Red pandas are also extremely shy. They prefer the company of a tree or, in the case of polar bears, a nice patch of ice, before the company of another fluffy bear.

However, this does not mean that bears are always alone. They meet other bears in order to breed, and mothers spend quite a lot of time with their young. As a general rule, however, bears are the most solitary carnivores in the world.

Here you can learn how do polar bears survive the cold of the Arctic and what are the most dangerous animals in India, including the Asian black bear of the Himalayas.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Bears

Black rhinoceros

Rhinos not characterized for their tolerance towards other animals. Their patience is limited and they have a somewhat hard character.

While female white rhinos don't mind spending time together, bulls and black rhinoceros in general prefer to stay alone. However, all that energy pays off when the time comes to mate. Lots of males only gather to court the same female during breeding season.

While they can be considered one of the most solitary animals in the world, it is true that black rhinoceros can spend time and bond with others. They get along better if they are of different ages, as they don't see each other as a threat. Besides, black rhinoceros are not particularly territorial.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Black rhinoceros

Platypus

The platypus is a semi-aquatic animal native to Australia. Its physical appearance is somewhat strange, as it has a horny beak just like turtles and some birds and lays eggs, but it's actually a mammal.

Platypuses are solitary animals for most of their lives, although on occasion they can be seen in pairs. Mothers stay with their young for some months.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Platypus

Skunks

There are different species of skunks, and they are all mostly solitary. It is understandable - when they feel threatened, nervous or attacked, skunks release a very strong odor that repels any creature with in a few meters. For the sake of other animals, even from the same family, they prefer to go through life free as the wind.

However, in colder climates skunks consider sharing dens, especially among females. Male skunks mate with more than one female, but they don't live together after that. When they have descendants, female skunks stay with their kits for a year and are very protective of them.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Skunks

Leopards

Leopards are the most eligible bachelors in the jungle, forest and savanna. Known for their beauty and elegance, these big cats only meet with others of their own species when they are mating or when they are raising their young.

The rest of the time, leopards enjoy their quiet single status without owing anything to anyone. After all, they don't need a pack to hunt successfully. This is one of the many reasons, for example, why snow leopards are endangered.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Leopards

Moles

Another the most solitary animals in the world we can find moles, those subterranean animals. Moles love to dig holes in the ground and they don't like to share the space that has cost them so much to make.

Moles spend most of the time playing alone across tunnels where there is no room for more than one mole. In fact, they are rarely seen at the surface. They avoid meeting each other, and when their territories clash they may end up fighting.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Moles

Koalas

Koalas are naturally solitary animals, and they appreciate their tranquility. Above all, koalas love having me-time to rest and enjoy the quiet; they will always choose to approach and hug a tree instead of another koala.

Although gentle, koalas have well-established territories between them, and these areas are usually highly respected. When they are young, koalas can be seen mounted on their mother's back. Soon they fend for themselves, and they part to solitary freedom.

Female koalas usually stay in their territories, while male koalas - except for some dominant, larger males - are transient. When crossing each other's path, male koalas may fight, chasing and biting.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Koalas

Sloths

Sloths are incredibly slow and solitary animals. They only gather in groups when they are going to mate. Above all, sloths prefer swinging and hanging from a branch and meditating about the meaning of life, the universe and everything on their own.

Sloths, of course, are also among the 10 slowest animals in the world. Some of the others will come as a complete surprise!

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Sloths

Wolverine or glutton

Wolverines are very strange and solitary mammals. They are a mixture of the ancestral bear and a dog. They not only prefer to live alone, they always try to get rid of every creature in their surroundings. These animals are known to seize large areas of land for themselves, as wide as they can.

It is no wonder wolverines have chosen the vast, wild forests of Canada and Alaska as their home! For this reason, they are almost get the top spot in our list of the 10 most solitary animals in the world.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Wolverine or glutton

Spotfin lionfish

The spotfin lionfish has no choice but to be a lone marine animal. These fish are as beautiful and fascinating as venomous, and we're sure they evolved that characteristic in order to be left alone, as on top of that they don't go out during the day.

The dorsal fins of the lionfish are loaded with a powerful venom, and they are willing to attack when in the presence of a predator or other invasive lionfish that are not accepted.

Do you want to find out more about poisonous animals? Don't miss our article on the 10 most venomous animals in the world and find out all you need to know.

The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World - Spotfin lionfish

Want to discover all about the animal kingdom? Take a look at the following animal trivia!

If you want to read similar articles to The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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5 comments
Kelly Evil
I can personally identity with all of these animals. I was never a social butterfly, more of anti social sloth lol.
Administrador AnimalWised
Sloths are amazing creatures, we're sure you are too!
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Anneliese D Drake
What about iguanas or horny toad lizards or any of the desert lizards in the southwest? They seem very lonely when one sees them.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Anneliese,

You make a great point as many lizard species appear quite solitary, spending long periods of time basking or seemingly doing nothing at all. However, especially during breeding season or when young, these animals can be quite social. They do exhibit play behavior and have a social order when developing. You can say something similar for bears, but the difference is that bears will actively remain on their own, whereas iguanas will happily interact when they want to. The same goes for many lizards, although it will depend on the species. Thanks for the input!
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jack
which animal lives the longest
Michael
Wolverines are part of mustelidae, neither bear nor dog.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Michael,

Thank you for your comment. The text meant to imply their resemblance to bears and dogs in appearance, some think much more so than their resemblance to other Mustelids. We have updated the article to make it more clear.
Jamila
wow 😀. Thanks a lot Josie I loved it
Administrador AnimalWised
Thanks Jamila!

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