There are five groups of animals, and each group has three animals. You can give animals to your Chao to make it stronger and to give it different personalities and looks. When you give a Chao an animal, it will embrace it, and attain its appearance, abilities, and behaviour. The animal will disappear shortly after you give it to a Chao.

The animals are found inside the enemies in each level. Simply destroy an enemy to release the animal within, and then walk into it to pick it up. You can only carry up to ten animals at a time. When you enter the Chao Garden, all the animals currently collected by that character will leave you and run around the garden! The animals will sparkle if you have not given them to your Chao yet. Once you give them to your Chao, the sparkle will disappear and the animal will vanish from the garden after a while. The animals will stay in the garden even when you leave.

The four common animal colours — yellow, purple, green, and red — all raise the primary stats: Swim, Fly, Run, and Power, respectively. They also influence the Chao to evolve into the corresponding type.

The fifth colour — blue — influences the Chao to evolve into a random type. It is commonly thought to modify the hidden Luck and Intelligence stats; however, this has been proven false. Every animal increases both Luck and Intelligence, as shown on the table below.

The animals, their groups, and their effects
Group Info Animal Info Stat Bar Changes
Type Colour Icon Name Swim Fly Run Power Int. Luck Effect
Swim Yellow Seal Seal +40% -16% 0% +8% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao rolls around.
Penguin Penguin +36% +12% +8% -24% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao slides on its belly.
Otter Otter +44% -4% +8% -16% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao performs the backstroke when swimming.
Fly Purple Peacock Peacock +12% +48% -16% -12% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao struts about.
Swallow Swallow +20% +60% -24% +16% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao flaps about.
Parrot Parrot 0% +48% -20% +4% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao sings.
Run Green Deer Deer -4% -12% +32% +16% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao draws.
Rabbit Rabbit 0% +8% +40% -16% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao hops about.
Kangaroo Kangaroo -8% -8% +40% +8% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao dances.
Power Red Gorilla Gorilla -4% -8% +4% +40% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao beats on its chest.
Lion Lion +8% -16% +4% +36% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao breakdances.
Elephant Elephant -8% -16% +20% +36% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao performs sit-ups.
Blue Mole Mole +8% +8% +16% +16% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao performs forward somersaults.
Koala Koala +20% +16% +4% +8% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao blows kisses. Also allows hats to be worn.
Skunk Skunk +8% +12% +16% +12% +20% +20% Learnt behaviour: Chao farts.