Mothers make a difference. They take care, protect and teach us everything we need to know. It is no different for most animals in the wild. Wildlife conservation and zoo biology researchers have found that many animal mothers also do everything possible for their young to survive.
Without the guidance of the mother, many of them would not survive. In honor of Mother’s Day being around the corner, our team wants to teach everyone about animal mothers and answer the question of “what animals are the best mothers?”
Do animals have maternal instincts?
Believe it or not, some animals do have maternal instincts. This instinct compels the animals to protect and care for the defenseless. It helps them protect their offspring so that they can survive and continue to keep the species alive.
There have been cases where animals’ maternal instincts also protect other species. Helpless and defenseless animals are sometimes adopted by stronger ones to increase their likelihood of survival. For example, humpback whales protect other species from killer whales.
Although most animals have this instinct, some animals have greater maternal instincts than others. Some mothers spend more time with their babies and even live together forever.
What animals are the best mothers?
You have probably heard the term “tiger mom” used before. This term is given to a human mother who pushes their kid to achieve high achievements. So are tiger mothers in the wild similar to human-tiger moms? Somewhat.
A mother tiger is very protective of its cubs and is inseparable for the first two years of its life. These fierce mothers protect their cubs from larger animals like bears and wolves. They also provide for them in their early years and teach them how to hunt on their own.
Who remembers watching Tarzan and remembering the mother gorillas being so caring for their young? Not much is different in real life. Gorillas make great mothers. These animals take complete care of their young for the first two to three years. They carry their young on their chests everywhere. Eventually, they start carrying the baby on their backs as they get older.
Not all great mothers live on the land. Some live in the ocean like humpback whales. These whales typically live in Alaska, but they migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii to give birth. Once the whales have given birth, they stay in the warm and predator-free waters of Hawaii. During this time, the mother will nurse the calf and teach it everything it needs to know for the trip back to Alaska.
There is no denying how great mother elephants are. These large mammals live together in herds that are made up of other female elephants. From a young age, female elephants are taught how to care for the young. Once the elephant becomes a mother, it has the knowledge on how to care for its young. A mother elephant provides and protects the baby elephant. It teaches the baby elephant how to eat, swim and avoid dangers.
How to support wildlife conservation and zoo biology
Mothers do extraordinary things even in the animal kingdom. Without them, many animals would not be able to survive on their own. That is why it is crucial to protect all species. You can contribute to wildlife conservation by donating to animal nonprofit organizations like us!
At For Elephants, we research to help improve the lives of zoo and wildlife African elephants. You can help our research by joining our “Herd of Heroes” to make a monthly donation of your choice. Join down below!