This Mother's Day we’re highlighting and celebrating some other mothers from the animal kingdom. These mothers work really hard and often sacrifice their own needs, wants, and wellbeing to provide for and protect their young.
Does that sound familiar? No excuse not to send your mum a card this year...
Not a small job
Of all land animals, elephants give birth to the largest babies – with newborn calves weighing in at over 100kg. This is even more remarkable when you consider that these mums carry their babies for 22 months!
Image: mother and baby elephant in Thailand at a Mahouts Elephant Foundation (MEF) location.
Stay close, mama!
The bond between an orangutan mother and her young is one of the strongest in nature. For the first four months, contact between mother and infant is never broken. Orangutans, especially females, remain highly attached to their mothers well into maturity.
Image: a young orangutan clings on to it's mother, at Nyaru Menteng Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.
Mother knows best
Pigs are not only highly intelligent, they also make great mums - they even recognise their own piglets’ calls from others'! Newborn piglets also learn their mums' voices, and choose a favourite teat to feed from, all within hours of being born. Piglets are so attached to their mothers they scream in distress when they’re separated from them.
Image: piglets at a higher welfare indoor farm in the UK.
We are family
African grey parrots know that raising a baby is no joke - that's why they do it together. When the eggs hatch, the male helps raise the chicks together with mum. In the wild, these birds are highly social and nest in large groups, containing thousands of individuals, comprising of small family groups.
Image: a pair of African Grey Parrots in the wild.
Bears are renowned for being great, protective mums. Their youngsters are born blind, hairless and vulnerable - and often when the mother bear is hibernating. The cubs will stay in the den and close to their mum to keep warm, and by the time hibernation ends they will be furrier, bigger and full of energy!
Image: mother bear, named Epison, and one of her cubs in our sanctuary in Romania.
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