Animals That Represent Strength

Animals that represent strength
Human beings have associated animals with strength since the beginning of time. Several animals represent strength including lions, tigers, wolves, ants, gorillas, bears, and elephants. 

Common Animals That Represent Strength 

Animals are strong in ways that humans cannot even fathom. The strength of an animal can be measured and understood in many ways. Animal symbols serve as a guide to teach people to have the strength to become their best selves.


The king of the jungle, the lion, is one of the most popular animal symbols of strength. The huge, muscular cat is not only known for its strength but also its loyalty, bravery, and pride. 

A lion has enormous power and strength, which makes all the other animals fear it. Lions can also kill prey using only their paws, which demonstrates their strength and power. 

Many cultures from places like Persia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, and Rome honor lions as symbols of power, respect, justice, and royalty. Moreover, in Christian art and Buddhism, the animal also depicts resurrection and spiritual awakening.

animals that represent strength
Numerous cultures and religions have used the lion as a symbol because of its strength and ferocity.


Bears are one of the largest and most powerful animal species. They are fierce, have enormous bodies, and are powerful enough to protect their young ones. They also symbolize strength, force, and domination. 

With its massive body, thick fur, and big paws, a bear can instill fear in anyone. In many traditions, strong people have transformed into bears. People also worship the bear totem to receive strength and courage during a time of adversity. 

While the Japanese associate the gigantic animal with generosity, the shamanic lores relate the bear with supernatural strength, transformation, and spiritual awakening.  

animals that represent strength
The bear’s sheer size has made it a symbol of supernatural strength.


Another animal that depicts strength is the deer. It symbolizes a blend of power with grace and tenderness. The animal is simple, elegant, and graceful. A deer moves in a precise way when it comes across a predator, which represents gentle strength. 

The symbolism associated with deer is strong in Celtic and German traditions. Celtic Cernunnos is a deity that represents masculinity, power, and fertility and is the protector of wildlife. 

animals that represent strength
The deer’s speed and grace have caused many to use it as a symbol of quiet strength.


The gorilla is a visual symbol of strength. It’s a powerful, hulking beast that can easily lift more than ten times its own weight. Even though gorillas are fierce and strong, they hardly use their strength unless they come across a dangerous situation. 

A silverback gorilla is not only the leader of the pack but also a guardian and protector. People consider it a symbol of honor, rule, protection, teamwork, and leadership. While male gorillas stand for raw strength and energy, the females depict a mother’s strength and safety. 

As a spirit animal, a gorilla can encourage one to be grounded and humble while keeping inner strength intact. 

animals that represent strength
Because gorillas typically only use their strength when facing danger, they have become a sign of strength and humility.


Elephants are a widely known symbol of strength across many cultures and traditions. Although they are powerful, elephants are also seen as a symbol of nobility and wisdom. They bring good health, good fortune, longevity, and spiritual guidance. 

In India, people worship the god Ganesha, which is a man with an elephant’s head. The animal is considered sacred in the country and a symbol of good luck. Similarly, elephants are a sign of wisdom, glory, respect, and strength in China as well. 

animals that represent strength
Elephants feature prominently in the symbols of many eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism.


Rhinoceroses are often consider the the physically strongest animals, because they weigh over one ton and have thick bodies and legs. They are strong and frightening for anything that crosses their path, but they are herbivores that don’t attack anyone unless provoked. 

Rhinos are among the fastest animals. The horn atop their head can help them kill the attackers within a few seconds. Ancient shamans often related the rhinoceros’ horns with spiritual connection as it can encourage people to feel and think. 

animals that represent strength
As herbivores, rhinos typically do not use their great strength unless they are under attack.


For centuries, horses have carried people and goods, which is responsible for their reputation as strong animals. The term horsepower is also used to define the power an engine can produce. 

Horses have a central place in various mythological, traditional, and religious worlds. The animal is also a common theme in literature and art. In medieval times, horses symbolized chivalry and knighthood, which denoted physical strength. 

animals that represent strength
Involved in both acts of heroism and simple functions like carrying people, horses regularly symbolize strength.

Animal Symbolism in Zodiac Signs 

People interpret astrology in different ways across the world based on stars and constellations. Western zodiac signs also include natural elements like different animals. The word zodiac itself is a Latin word derived from the Greek word Zoidiakos, which translates to “a circle of animals.

Zodiac signs are believed to indicate characteristics of individuals born within a particular time of year. Each zodiac sign has an animal associated with it, and the person tends to have the characteristics of that particular creature.

Animal Symbols for Each Zodiac Sign

  • Aries – Ram
  • Taurus – Bull
  • Gemini – Dolphin. 
  • Cancer – Crab
  • Leo – Lion
  • Virgo – Fox
  • Libra – Panda
  • Scorpio – Scorpion 
  • Sagittarius – Horse
  • Capricorn – Mountain Goat
  • Aquarius – Owl
  • Pisces – Fish

The animal kingdom is fascinating and fierce, with many creatures being embodiments of physical and mental strength. Lions, horses, gorillas, rhinoceros, deer, elephants, and bears are the few animals from wildlife that have been used as symbols of strength for centuries. 

Interested in learning about more symbols? Check out this article on the ancient Kokopelli symbol.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

Recent Posts