The bond between a mother and child is one of the most special things in this world, and that’s not just true for human beings. The animal kingdom is full of loving, unique, and protective moms. So, to celebrate Mother’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of heartwarming images that show maternal love is truly universal. From lionesses playing with their cubs to matriarchal elephants cuddling their babies, this one’s for the moms!
If your heart isn’t melted by the sheer cuteness of this image, then we don’t know if this list is for you! The loving care shown by the mommy lion and the playful paws-in-the-air pose of the cub is pure adorable perfection. We hope this little guy got his fill of mom’s special playtime, though, because from two months onward he’ll be raised by the entire pride, not just her!
Being a sea otter mom is a tiring business: after all, they average one pup every single year of their lives! Rearing the pup is exhausting, too, as it will drink its mom’s milk for six to eight months, and this hugely depletes mom’s resources. By the time the pup is ready to venture out on its own, mom will feel like she needs a holiday, but will likely be pregnant again before she knows it!
Did you know that cats can sometimes have a litter of kittens, then another litter a few days later? The world record for a litter born from a domestic cat is 19, but most litters are between one and nine kitties. It’s not unusual for litters to include kittens from multiple fathers, too, because momma’s mating window lasts for a week. Hey, who are we to judge? A lot can happen in a week!
Love is everywhere in the animal kingdom, and nowhere is this more obvious than with orangutans. They stay with their mothers for a decade before venturing out on their own, and females return to visit their moms until they’re 15 or 16 years old! According to Orangutan Foundation International, “Such prolonged association between mother and offspring is rare among mammals. Probably only humans have a more intensive relationship with their mothers.”