Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Any animate thing not human endowed with power of voluntary motion.—Bouvier Law Dictionary.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Any animate being which is endowed with the power of voluntary motion. In the language of the law the term includes all living creatures not human. Domitœ are those which have been tamed by man; domestic. Eerœ natures are those which still retain their wild nature. Mansuetœ natures are those gentle or tame by nature, such as sheep and cows.
    —Animals of a base nature. Animals in which a right of property may be acquired by reclaiming them from wildness, but which, at common law, by reason of their base nature, are not regarded as possible subjects of a larceny. 3 Inst. 109; 1 Hale, P. C. 511, 512. Animalia fera, si facta sint mansneta et ex consuetudine ennt et redennt, volant et revolant, nt cervi, cygni, etc., eo usque nostra snnt, et ita intellignntur quamdiu habuerunt animum revertendi. Wild animals, if they be made tame, and are accust6med to go out and return, fly away and fly back, as stags, swans, etc., are considered to belong to us so long as they have the intention of returning to us. 7 Coke, 16.