Languages › Japanese Learn Japanese Animal Vocabulary Share Flipboard Email Print Kohei Hara / Getty Images Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar by Namiko Abe Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. Updated January 28, 2019 There are kanji characters for hippopotamus (河馬), giraffe (麒麟), mouse (鼠), camel (駱駝), squirrel (栗鼠), zebra (縞馬), rabbit (兎) and goat (山羊), but they are often written in hiragana or katakana. The counter for small animals is "hiki (匹)" and for large animals is "tou (頭)." Inu ga go-hiki imasu. 犬が五匹います. There are five dogs.Watashi wa kuma o ni-tou mimashita. 私は熊を二頭見ました. I saw two bears. Click the link to hear the pronunciation. doubutsu 動物 animals buta 豚 pig hitsuji 羊 sheep inu 犬 dog kaba かば hippopotamus kitsune 狐 fox kirin キリン giraffe kuma 熊 bear neko 猫 cat nezumi ねずみ mouse ookami 狼 wolf raion ライオン lion rakuda らくだ camel risu りす squirrel saru 猿 monkey shika 鹿 deer shimauma しまうま zebra tora 虎 tiger tori 鳥 bird usagi うさぎ rabbit ushi 牛 cow/ox uma 馬 horse yagi やぎ goat zou 象 elephant Continue Reading Frequently Asked Questions in Introductory Japanese Learn the Words That Are Used for Counting in Japanese Do You Know the Many Usages of "O" and "No" in Japanese? How Much Do You Know About Spirited Away? What Does a Dog Say in Japanese? What Is Some Useful Dialogue for Japanese Restaurants? Japanese Tanabata Festival of the Stars Dogs in Japanese Culture Useful Japanese Expressions Japanese Particle Information (Bakari) Learn Japanese Vocabulary Related to Weather Mother's Day: Haha no Hi Using Verbs of Change in Japanese Singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in Japanese The Conditional "Nara" and the Song "Shiawase Nara Te o Tatakou" How to Use Japanese to Say "Want" or "Desire"