Tame animal

A tame animal is an animal that is relatively tolerant of human presence. Tameness may arise naturally (as in the case, for example, of island tameness) or due to the deliberate, human-directed process of training an animal against its initially wild or natural instincts to avoid or attack humans. The tameability of an animal is the level of ease it takes humans to train the animal, and varies among individual animals, breeds, or species.[1]

In public parks, some wild animals, such as this eastern grey squirrel, have been sufficiently tamed so as to lose their natural fear of humans.
A tame mouse runs across a woman's hand.

In other languages, the word for taming is the same as the word for domestication. However, in the English language, the two words refer to two partially overlapping but distinct concepts.[2] For example feral animals are domesticated, but not tamed. Similarly, taming is not the same as animal training, although in some contexts these terms may be used interchangeably.

Taming implies that the animal tolerates not merely human proximity, but at minimum human touching.[3] Yet, more common usage limits the label "tame" to animals which do not threaten or injure humans who do not harm or threaten them. Tameness, in this sense, should be distinguished from "socialization" wherein the animals treat humans much like conspecifics, for instance by trying to dominate humans.[4]


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