Top 8 Most Clumsy Animals In The World List [With Pictures]

Giant Pandas
Photo: Hugh Llewelyn / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Although we mostly relate this trait with our own species, there are clumsy animals in the wild too! It may not look like it, but some well-known animals are actually not that good with their movements, often slipping and falling. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the clumsiest animals in the world.

Take a look at the list of clumsy animals below:

  • Giraffes
  • Koalas
  • Giant Pandas
  • Red Pandas
  • Ostriches
  • Sloths
  • Flamingos
  • Puffins

* Note: animals are ranked in order of their search volume.

1. Giraffes

Photo: Steven & Claire Farnsworth / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientific name (genus): Giraffa

It’s no wonder that an animal as tall as a school bus has trouble with coordination. The biggest issue for giraffes isn’t the height itself, though, but the length of their legs.

For example, in order to drink water, a giraffe has to set its legs in a very uncomfortable position and hope that it doesn’t fall straight on its face (which it often does).

Even though they’re tall and heavy, the legs of a giraffe are too long to support such a large body, which is why they often fall over.

2. Koalas

Photo: Jo Christian Oterhals / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Scientific name: Phascoloractos cinereus

Koalas spend the largest part of their day in the trees, sleeping. Since they spend so much time sleeping, they don’t eat a lot, so they’re not the most energetic and resourceful animals.

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This creates a problem as living in the trees takes a lot of handiness which koalas don’t have, often slipping and falling. Luckily, falls don’t hurt them, but they certainly do make them some of the clumsiest animals on the planet.

3. Giant Pandas

Giant Pandas
Photo: Hugh Llewelyn / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Pandas are clumsy animals, no doubt, but they’re certainly some of the laziest animals on the planet too. They quite literally don’t know how to walk properly, so they’ll often fall over.

What’s fascinating is that many times – they won’t even bother to get back up. This behavior is almost exclusive to giant pandas, as no other animal shows signs of not caring for their own wellbeing.

This can, however, often be harmful to their health, as they can not only hurt themselves but their cubs too.

4. Red Pandas

Red Panda
Photo: Kenneth Barrett / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens

The red panda, a cousin of the giant panda, is no less clumsy. These animals are much smaller and like to spend their time in the trees just as much as they spend time on the ground, but it very often happens that they fall down.

When they’re on the ground, they’ll often display the same behavior as their big brothers and simply roll over and not bother to get up. Red pandas are also similar to cats in a way, as they often roll around to play.

5. Ostriches

Photo: Doug88888 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Struthio camelus

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This species of flightless birds shares their problem with giraffes – they have very long, thin legs and a very stocky body. Their legs actually come in handy as they’re incredibly quick when they run.

However; bending, twisting and turning is a problem for them. Because of this, ostriches are often tripping and falling down. Unlike the pandas, though, most people don’t find this cute at all. Ostriches are aggressive birds, especially if they’re trying to keep their eggs safe, and they won’t appreciate you laughing at them.

6. Sloths

Photo: Henryalien / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientific name (suborder): Folivora

These lazy animals are very similar to koalas in their behavior – they spend the largest portion of their life in trees and they often can’t hold on properly. Living in trees keeps them safe from most predators, but it also requires a level of dexterity that sloths simply don’t have.

Because of this, it’s not odd to see sloths falling from their branches! Then, it takes them a very long time to get back up since they’re so slow, and they often can’t make it on their first try since they’re such clumsy animals.

7. Flamingos

Photo: Bill Crouse / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Scientific name (family): Phoenicopteridae

Just like ostriches, flamingos are long-legged birds with large bodies in comparison to their legs, and they often can’t stay still. Even though they deserve some credit for often standing perfectly still on just one leg, what you rarely see on wildlife television shows is that they often fall down too.

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Flamingos have possibly the thinnest legs out of all the animals on this list, making it unbearably difficult for them to keep balance when they’re moving around. Add the effect of the water stream throwing them off balance and you can definitely understand why they have trouble standing up.

8. Puffins

Photo: Sue Cro / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scientific name (genus): Fratercula

At first glance, puffins are birds just like any other, and truth be told – they’re not as nearly as clumsy as flamingos…as long as they stay off the ground. Trouble starts with the landing, as they can’t land properly, be it on the ground or in the water.

They also can’t walk – even though they repeatedly try to, puffins are terribly at walking and they will often lose balance and fall over. These birds were simply made to fly and nothing less than that. 

In Summation

Truth be told, humans are far clumsier than most animals, but the selected few can join the club since they’re definitely not animals you’d trust to move around well. Giant pandas would probably take the title there, as they’re not only falling because of their clumsiness, they very often can’t get up on their own.

There are quite a few birds that follow the same rule as well, mostly because their legs are too thin to support the weight of their body and ensure stability. Either way, clumsy animals are actually a rare sight in the wilderness, but it’s certainly a sight to behold.

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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