Amazing Animal Mothers

Not all animal moms are awesome, but these animal moms are pretty amazing.

harp seal

As if protecting your baby from polar bears and frigid temperatures isn’t enough, the Harp Seal nurse their young for 12 days straight without nourishment. The baby gains about 5 pounds during this time, while the mom loses about 7 pounds each day.

koala

Subsisting on mainly eucalyptus leaves for sustenance, a Koala rarely leaves the safety of the trees. To keep her young safe, a Koala mom keeps her babe in her pouch for the first 6 months of life and then continues to carry them on her back for another six months.

polar-bears

A momma Polar Bear prepares for birth by creating a safe shelter for her cubs. She stays in this icy shelter until spring begins to make its way across the frozen land. The momma bear has fasted all throughout this time, nursing her cubs and keeping them safe.

african-elephant-mother-leading-calf-tim-fitzharris

With an average gestation period of 22 months, the African Elephant has the longest pregnancy of any land mammal. Not only does this mom endure a long pregnancy but she will nurse her calf for up to 6 years.

octopus

A female octopus is so fiercely dedicated to her offspring she will typically only lay eggs a single time during their life. The Giant Pacific Octopus lays around 200,000 eggs and faithfully stays with them until they have hatched, sometimes eating their own appendages to survive. By this time, she is so weak from undernourishment that when she leaves her lair in search of food, she often falls victim to a predator.

Bornean orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus); Tanjung Puting National Park, South Kalimantan (K. Selatan), Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Indonesia

A baby Orangutan is solely dependent on its mom for the first two years of its life for food and protection. Even then, the momma Orangutan will spend the next several years teaching her offspring survival skills.

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