Mothers in the Animal Kingdom Deserving of the Title ‘Hardest-Working Moms’

Mothers in the animal kingdom resemble some traits seen in certain human moms that we know, such as caring for their offspring by providing food, shelter, and security. When it comes to animal parenting, these traits are still common in some species. However, since the setting where baby wild animals are born are different and more dangerous, animal moms also exercise precautions against external threats, especially other animal predators.

Parenting or parental care is not only a human thing. In fact, animal parenting is evident across different animal classes, ranging from mammals to birds and reptiles. A product of evolution, the practice of caring of an offspring not only increases the latter’s chance of survival but also ensures the continuance of the species. Yet, the survival of an offspring is not always assured due to various threats, including diseases, predators, and harsh environments.

Mothers in Animal Kingdom

Animal Parenting: Meet Mothers in the Animal Kingdom Deserving of the Title ‘Hardest-Working Moms’
(Photo : Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash)

Being an animal mother is seemingly a tough job, especially when protecting newborn babies or eggs before they even hatch. Amid the risk of their natural predators, animal moms are on the lookout to ensure that their babies also survive into adulthood. Due to this feat, scientists and wildlife experts recognize some of the world’s hardest-working mothers in the animal kingdom. Below are some of them:

  •  Giant Pacific octopus
  •  African elephant
  •  Gray kangaroo
  •  Virginia opossum
  •  Emperor penguin
  •  Strawberry poison dart frog
  •  Killer whale (orca)
  •  Taita African caecilian
  •  Tailles tenrec
  •  Frilled shark

In addition to the list, experts rank lion and orangutan mothers as some of the top mothers of the animal kingdom. When it comes to animal parenting, the lioness is known to always protect its lion cubs even spending most time away from the lion pride. It is during this period when young lions are dependant on their mother for up to two years or until the cub can already look after itself.

Also Read: Mother’s Day Special: Top 5 Animal Moms That Will Do Anything for their Youngs

Threats to Young Animals

As mentioned earlier, there are various threats to baby wild animals that make some animal moms be on a constant lookout to their surrounding environments. While animal predation is considered a threat to young animals but is part of the natural cycle of life, the one threat that stands out among the rest if wildlife crime. These activities include illegal wildlife trade, poaching, and wildlife trafficking.

For the past several decades, wildlife crime has resulted in the disruption or deaths of native wildlife populations, including in Africa and Asia. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), wildlife trafficking has significant repercussions to both animal and plant life, affecting also human livelihoods, biodiversity, and governance.

The threat posed by wildlife trafficking to the wild animal population, including young ones, is significant. This seems to be the case although deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change are also some sources of the threats to wildlife and plant species, according to UNODC.

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