We can, at times, be quite horrified by the way wild animals treat their young. If there is a disability or the offspring is weak in any way, it is usually either abandoned and left to die or actually killed by the mother. In the wild only the fittest survive.
However, for those that are born strong and healthy, we humans could learn a lot from mothers in the wild. They provide food and schooling, along with play and comfort. There is nothing like a mother’s love!
Here we bring you some beautiful images of wild mothers with their babies, along with a short synopsis of the life cycle of each species featured.
Baby Gorilla Sleeping
Gorillas are native to Central Africa. Female gorillas mature between the ages of 10 and 12 and males between 11 and 13. A gorilla’s lifespan is between 30 and 50 years.
Camels are native to Asia and there are dromedaries with a single hump and bactrians with two humps. Camels mature at age 5 and have a lifespan of approximately 40 years.
Asian elephants are native to mainland Asia. They have similar phases of life to humans, in that their lifespan is approximately 70 years, and although Asian elephants do not reach full maturity until the age of 20, females reach sexual maturity as young as 10 and can successfully bear young at the age of 16.
Mother and Chick on the Nest
Gentoo penguins are native to sub-Antarctic islands such as the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Chicks mature at about 80 to 100 days old, and penguins have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, although there is a very high mortality rate before natural death occurs.
Mother and Joey
The Koala is native to coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia. They are marsupials, and the joey lives in the mother’s pouch for the first six months of life. Koalas mature between 2 and 4 years old, and have a lifespan of 13 to 18 years.
Mom and Baby Flamingo
There are 6 species of flamingo and they can be found in parts of Africa, southern Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Chicks are cared for by their parents for 2 to 3 weeks, then join a crèche with other chicks, where they stay until they reach maturity and gain their full adult plumage at 3 to 4 years of age. The lifespan of flamingos is up to 30 years.
Warthog Mum and Baby
The warthog is native to Central Africa. The warthog reaches maturity between the ages of 2 and 4 years, and has a lifespan of approximately 15 years.
Four Eyes are Better than Two
The ring-tailed lemur is native to Madagascar. The young reach maturity between the ages of 2 and 3 years, and their lifespan is approximately 15 years.
Tapirs are native to South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. Tapirs reach maturity at around 3 to 5 years old, and have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years.
Katie’s Baby Girl
Giraffes are native to Africa. Calves reach maturity at around one year old, and giraffes have a lifespan of approximately 25 years.
The hippopotamus is native to Africa and is a semi-aquatic mammal. Hippos reach maturity between 5 and 8 years old and have a lifespan of around 50 years.
Alpacas are native to South America. They reach maturity between 1 and 3 years of age, and have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
Mother with Baby
Kangaroos are native to Australia, and are marsupials, carrying their baby (joey) in a pouch. Kangaroos reach maturity at around 8 months of age and have a lifespan of around 6 years in the wild. However, most individuals do not reach maturity in the wild, but in captivity kangaroo have been known to live as long as 20 years.
Baby Rides on Mother’s Back
Mute Swans are native mainly to Europe and Asia. Baby swans are called cygnets and reach maturity at about 3 years old. Most swans live to about 5 or 6 years of age, but have been known to reach over 25 years.
Traditionally, all unmarked mute swans in open water in the United Kingdom are the property of the Queen.
I hope you have enjoyed viewing these heart-warming photos of wild mothers with their babies.
Please leave any comments or acknowledgements for the photographs/photographers below.