The Most Awesome Pack Animals: Definitions And Examples For Kids

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 29, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
A pack of wolves in the snow.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.3 Min

Pack animals are a group of animals that are used to carry heavy loads by humans.

These animals help humans by carrying goods over long distances on difficult terrains. They are different from draft animals, which carry weight and pull carts.

Pack animals have been used by humans for a long time and their utilization is continued from as early as 3500 BC. These animals are seen to be working all around the world. Donkeys are considered to have served humans for a long time, dating back to prehistoric times. Yaks, camels, horses, buffaloes, and llamas are common pack animals. They are found widely used throughout the Middle East, America, Asia, and Africa. Apart from these animals, several pack-hunting animals are also found to be used by humans, especially in the historic ages. Their sharp hunting skills helped men to hunt down animals easily. From that time onwards, pack animals were domesticated both for hunting as well as transporting purposes. Keep on reading to find out gripping facts about the most popular pack animals.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about scavenger animals and prey animals? Here on Kidadl.

What are pack animals?

Pack animals are working animals that are used for carrying a heavy burden during transportation from one region to another.

They are also referred to as beasts of burden for their tremendous ability to carry goods. This can refer to an individual pack animal as well. However, they are not to be confused with the draft animals, which are used to pull a certain load rather than carrying it on its back. Traditional pack animals include mules, elephants, llamas, horses, donkeys, reindeer, goats, buffaloes, and various other animals. Unlike these animals, dogs, cats, foxes, or coyotes are not used as such to carry a load. The llama was one of the only pack animals found in South America for a long time.

How many animals make a pack?

Pack animals are important all over the world due to their abundant capability of helping human beings.

These animals that are used to carry loads can form a group of 5-10 but are also used individually by human beings according to their needs. The water buffalo is an animal used individually because of its ability to carry heavy loads over long distances. Mules, horses, and donkeys are also common pack animals that are used to transport a large number of goods. The donkey has been used since ancient times. The pack animal used by humans is often subjected to extreme social conditions, which means they are enslaved with no proper care and food. These conditions make them vulnerable and often lead to severe injury. The horse is one of the most injured animals that undergo extreme labor and pain inflicted by humans.

Which animals hunt in packs?

Many animals hunt in a pack. Unlike the mule, donkey, and horse that is used mostly for carrying goods and transportation, wolves are traditional hunting pack animals.

Gray wolves hunt in a pack and are excellent predators. Other animals that are excellent pack hunters are chimpanzees and hyenas. The mongoose is also a predator that hunts in a pack. The pack hunters have their own set of rules and abide by their laws. Other pack animals that hunt include the interior Alaskan wolf and the African wild dog. The dhole is another such animal that is native to Central and Southeast Asia. They are also called Asian wild dogs and are almost impossible to domesticate. This species is undergoing a loss of habitat and is on the verge of extinction.

Large elephant herd walking in dust.

Most Dangerous Pack Animals

There is not a single doubt that the most dangerous animals that hunt in packs are wolves and African wild dogs. Although wolves live a highly social life, they are dominated by a single alpha wolf, who is responsible for setting up their family rules.

Several species of wolves are present, among which the gray wolf and the red wolf species are considered the most dangerous. They are excellent predators and consume a daily meal of 5-10 lb (2.3-4.5 kg) of meat. Their pack size ranges from 2-30 and can even be larger. The African wild dogs are as powerful as these wolves and are dangerous scavengers. They usually consist of a pack of about 27 individuals and can take down a beast as large as 551 lb (250 kg). These animals have become highly vulnerable due to the increased deforestation and other human activities that are imposing a threat to their survival. Other prominent pack animals that can hunt pretty well are the chimpanzees. The apes were known to be great hunters as they could take down a large number of smaller animals together. They are omnivores and usually prey on other animals as a source of protein. The males usually engage themselves in hunting activities and travel great distances to hunt down animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for pack animals, then why not take a look at animals with adaptations, or the fastest animals in the world?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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