Nature never ceases to amaze us, and one of the most heartwarming aspects is witnessing the bond between mother and child in the animal kingdom, and the way it develops in each species. Let’s take a look at some fascinating facts about various mama and baby animal duos, offering a glimpse into the extraordinary world of parenthood in the wild.
A baby orangutan stays attached to its mother for the first two years of its life, relying on her for food and safety. Most orangutans stay alongside of their mothers until age 10! Orangutan mothers only give birth once every eight years or so.
Born at about 4 feet long and weighing up to 100 pounds, a baby hippo’s weight will increase ten-fold in their first year of life. Mother hippos are fiercely protective of their young, and will challenge a much larger animal if they feel their baby is in danger.
Newborn Orcas (or Killer Whales) don’t sleep for a full month after they’re born. That means their mothers don’t either! Can you imagine a month of continuous swimming, around the clock? What a feat! Orcas live in their pods their entire lives, so mama and baby are never separated.
Polar bear mothers prepare for pregnancy by gaining 400 pounds! She will eat enough to effectively double her body weight, and then doesn’t eat at all for about eight months. Mama Polar Bear digs a den in snowdrifts to spend her pregnancy, birth, and the first two months of her babies’ lives.
A mother cheetah gives birth to three to six cubs at a time. After about 6 weeks, the cubs are able to walk, and the mother finds a new place to sleep every night to evade predators. Born without any survival skills, the mother must diligently teach her cubs how to hunt.
From the vast savannas to the leafy jungles and the icy tundras, nature’s motherly love is all around us! The next time you see a mother and her offspring in the wild or even in your own backyard, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nurture found in nature.