The animal kingdom can be a dangerous, unforgiving place. You can't control of the circle of life. Animals will always eat other animals. There are, however, some pretty adorable parts of the circle of life, too.
Animal parents love and protect their young with a ferocity that may just surprise you. What they do for their babies is surprising and even genius. These young animal families just melt my heart to pieces.
1.) Siberian tiger moms will always make sure her cubs are safe, carrying them by the scruff of the neck if she has to.
2.) A baby elephant will have an entire herd of mothers. After being carried in the womb for almost 22 months, mom needs some help, so everyone pitches in.
3.) Meerkat moms will leave the den to hunt, but will make sure another meerkat will be around to watch her young.
4.) Wolf pups are actually born blind and deaf (like dogs), so they need LOTS of attention from their mom.
5.) If joeys feel threatened, they'll dive into their mother's pouch (just like you've seen in the cartoons).
6.) Once a baby tamarin is born, the mother doesn't raise it. Instead, male tamarins are responsible for their young. Another male will even team up with dad to help raise the baby.
7.) Octopus moms can lay between 50,000 and 200,000 eggs. They are separated into groups and then mom spends every hour of every day protecting her eggs. These moms dedicate so much time to protecting their eggs, they will usually die after the babies hatch.
8.) Alligator moms will protect her babies for up to a year. She'll even carry her entire brood around in her mouth to hide them from predators.
9.) Every night, gorilla moms make cozy beds made of leaves. There, they'll nurse their babies and cuddle with them.
10.) Once a baby koala (also called a joey) is too big for its mother's pouch, she'll carry it on her back.
11.) Giraffe mothers will often return to where they were born to have their babies (talk about nostalgia).
12.) Polar bear cubs will stay by their mother's side for about two years. Then, they'll learn to hunt and swim.
13.) A harp seal mom can single out her pup from hundreds of others, based only on smell.
14.) Before going hunting, a mother cheetah will hide her cubs in the bush.
15.) Baby rhinos are (adorably) born without a horn, so their mothers have to protect them fiercely as they grow up.
16.) Zebra mothers keep their babies in the center of the herd to protect them from predators.
17.) Brown-headed cowbird mothers lay their eggs in other birds' nests. That way, as their chicks grow up, other mothers will take care of them (but the biological mom always sticks close by to keep an eye out).
18.) Moose calves will stay with their mom for about a year (or until she has another baby).
19.) Sea lion pups and their mothers have a special kind of vocalization so they can pick each other out of a crowd.
20.) Mother hippos give birth to their babies under water. Then, they help them rise to the surface so they can breathe.
21.) Emperor penguins go above and beyond for their young. After mom lays her egg, the father penguin will guard it for months while mom goes to hunt and replenish her body. Then, she'll return for when the baby hatches and then dad will have a chance to hunt.
22.) Until her cubs are old enough to join the pride, a lioness will hide them in the dense brush from other lions.
So, don't just assume that wild animals eat their young (ew). That may be true in rare cases, but it's way more common for animal families to be so darling, they could be featured in a Disney movie or Broadway musical. Share these adorable facts with others by clicking on the button below!