12 Animals with Blue Eyes

Photo: Jolanda Aalbers / Shutterstock

According to research, eye coloration is only common in humans and domestic animal species, as most wild animals have either light or dark eyes.

Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and in this article, we’ll be listing down 12 animals with blue eyes.

  • Coyotes
  • Rabbits
  • Llamas
  • Groundhogs
  • Mountain Lions
  • Leopards
  • White Tigers
  • Camiguin Hawk-owls
  • Blue-eyed Black Lemurs
  • Dromedary Camels
  • Pine Martens
  • Wild Horses

1. Coyotes

Coyote with mouth open
Photo: Don McCrady / Flickr / CC BY NC ND 2.0

Scientific name: Canis latrans

In case you didn’t know, blue and green eyes are a mutation. Humans are the only animals that develop blue eyes often. However, it seems that another species has started to develop this mutation.

In 2019, five coyotes with blue eyes were photographed in California, marking the first sighting of coyotes with blue eyes! Ever since there were reports of other coyotes with blue eyes on the West Coast.

Most coyotes have yellow or brown eyes, so this is highly unusual for them!

2. Rabbits

Photo: Kevin Jump / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Scientific name (family): Leporidae

It’s possible for a rabbit to have blue eyes, but it’s extremely rare. This happens more often in captivity than in nature, as the blue eye mutation is a recessive trait

That means that a male and a female, both with blue eyes, have to find one another in the wild and mate.

This does happen from time to time, and the result is the offspring of small animals with blue eyes. Rabbits typically have brown, sometimes even red eyes.

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3. Llamas

Photo: Thomas Quine / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Lama glama

Llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicunas are four species of the llama, and they can all develop the blue-eye mutation. This is, however, very rare – both with wild and domesticated llamas. It’s even considered a fault in llama shows!

It’s also more common with females than with males, especially with llamas that have white or silver fleece. Aside from this mutation, llamas are usually animals with dark eyes.

4. Groundhogs

Photo: Melissa Burovac / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Marmota monax

A blue-eyed groundhog is extremely rare, and it might be the rarest blue-eyed animal on this list. There are still no documented sightings of a ‘normal’ blue-eyed groundhog in the wild, but there have been sightings of albino groundhogs with blue eyes.

First of all, it has to be pointed out that albino groundhogs are one of a kind and very rare (just like all albino animals). They usually have bright-pink or blue eyes, making them the only iteration of a blue-eyed groundhog (as far as we know).

5. Mountain Lions

Mountain lion resting
Photo: Chiara Coetzee / Flickr / CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Scientific name: Puma concolor

Cougars are one of the few species known to often be born with blue eyes. However, most animals change their eye color by the time they grow up. 

Now, don’t go asking ‘are all animals born with blue eyes?’ because this is a very rare occurrence, which happens almost exclusively with cats (both wild and domesticated).

With time, most cougars will change their eye color as blue isn’t as nearly as common in nature as brown, and they need to blend in with the environment.

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6. Leopards

Photo: godongphoto / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Panthera pardus

Just like cougars, leopards are born with blue eyes, and their eye color usually changes with time. However, there are a few documented instances of blue-eyed leopards existing in the wild!

Nobody usually spots these animals with blue eyes at night, as they’re incredibly stealthy and inconspicuous, but a photographer managed to grab a pic of a blue-eyed leopard during the day, making it one of the best-documented findings!

7. White Tigers

White Tiger
Photo: Lucas Pezeta / Pexels

Scientific name: Panthera tigris tigris

This species is actually a pigmentation variant of the Bengal and the Siberian tiger. They’re very rarely spotted, and can only be found in India and a handful of zoos around the world.

Something incredible that separates these big cats with blue eyes from all the other animals on this list is that the blue eye mutation is very common with them.

They lack pigment, so their fur is white (sometimes even with no stripes) and their eyes are mostly bright-blue.

8. Camiguin Hawk-owls

Photo: Jasmin Meren / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific name (order): Ninox leventisi

Birds with blue eyes are virtually non-existent! Pelicans are known to change their eye color to blue for a short mating period, but it quickly reverts back to yellow or brown.

However, Camiguin hawk-owls, a very young species, classified in 2012, is known as the only species of owl to have blue eyes. This possibly makes it the only bird species to have blue eyes, but that’s yet to be proven.

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The Camiguin hawk-owl is an endangered species, found only on the Camiguin island in the Philippines.

9. Blue-eyed Black Lemurs

Photo: Jolanda Aalbers / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Eulemur flavifrons

As the name suggests, this species of lemur has blue eyes. This applies to both sexes (unlike with llamas, where blue eyes in males are rare), and they’re the only primates with blue eyes, other than us.

These black animals with blue eyes are currently threatened, living only on the island of Madagascar, where humans have cut down almost all of their natural habitat.

10. Dromedary Camels

Photo: Petr Kahanek / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Camelus dromedarius

Dromedary camels, also known as Arabian camels, haven’t been spotted in the wild in over 2,000 years! We can now only find them in zoos and as domesticated farm animals in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

However, a specific breed of the Arabian camel is known to be blue-eyed, with less than a thousand specimens alive! This is a natural occurrence, but it can also be achieved through selective breeding.

Since dromedary camels can grow to be 6ft and 8 inches tall, they’re the tallest animals with blue eyes.

11. Pine Martens

Photo: Petr Muckstein / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Martes martes

Famously, pine martens are wild animals with blue eyes and a blue eyeshine. That means that if you point a flashlight at their eyes, the eyeshine is blue, which is very rare, as most animals have white, yellow, red, or green eyeshine.

Pine martens are found all over Europe, and they were often hunted for their fur. Today, they’re a protected species, even though they’re not in any danger of extinction.

12. Wild Horses

Photo: Gianfranco Vivi / Shutterstock

Scientific name: Equus ferus

Just like domesticated horses, wild horses can develop blue eyes without selective breeding. Although this isn’t common, blue-eyed horses are a natural occurrence.

Wild horses can be found on every continent except for Antarctica, but they’re very rare, as most of them have been domesticated or eradicated. The existence of these large animals with blue eyes is currently threatened.

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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