In the field of education, direct experience is becoming increasingly important for quality learning. Our research explored how primary school pupils asses their feelings of fear and disgust to certain animals, how the presence or absence of direct experience with animals affects pupils' expression of fear, and whether girls express higher fear of animals than boys. The effect of the number of direct experiences on the expression of pupils' attitudes towards animals and whether pupils towards animals differ according to the gender and age of pupils was also evaluated. To this end, we prepared a questionnaire in order to obtain as objective picture of the individual groups as possible. A total of 329 pupils from two primary schools took part. We found that pupils have quite a lot of direct experience with most animals (more than 50%). Pupils estimated that they are most afraid of animals that could cause physical injuries (shark, scorpion, bear, snake), but they are especially disgusted by those animals that they find slimy and seemingly unpleasant (cockroach, spider, rat, tick, scorpion, toad, jellyfish, snake, frog, snail). On average, girls are more disgusted by all kinds of animals and more afraid of them than boys. The presence or absence of direct experience with animals also has a significant impact on the expression of fear of animals. On average, pupils who had contact with a larger number of animals also showed a more positive attitude towards animals. The expression of attitudes towards animals is influenced by gender (girls express more positive attitudes towards animals, although they have shown greater fear of them) and the age of pupils (younger pupils express more positive attitudes towards animals than older pupils). We believe that it's important that pupils acquire as much information about a particular animal and direct experience with it as possible during primary education and develop positive attitudes towards it.