In nature, perhaps no other bond is stronger than that between a mother and her young. A mother feeds, nurtures, teaches, protects, and sacrifices to ensure the survival of her children. So for this we wish a Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, everywhere!


African savanna elephant (<i>Loxodonta africana africana</i>); Amboseli National Park, ... rel= © Martin Harvey / WWF

African elephant herds are made up of mostly females and are led by the oldest female - or matriarch.

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Japanese macaque (<i>Macaca fuscata</i>) mother with baby; Nagano, Japan. rel= © Fritz Pölking / WWF

Mother macaque monkeys have been observed exagerating tool-using behaviour to teach their young.

Koala (<i>Phascolarctos cinereus</i>, mother with joey (young) feeds on eucalyptus ... rel= © Martin Harvey / WWF

Like other marsupials the baby koala, or joey, will spend the first 6-7 months of its life inside their mothers pouch.

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Mountain gorilla (<i>Gorilla beringei beringei</i>) mother cradling and kissing foot of ... rel= © /Andy Rouse / WWF

A baby gorilla will spend the first few months in constant physical contact with their mother. Female gorillas have offspring every 6-8 years.

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Southern white rhinoceros (<i>Ceratotherium simum simum</i>) mother and calf. The white ... rel= © Martin Harvey / WWF

If threatened a baby rhino will run in front of it's mother. Young rhinos are rarely attacked due to the protectiveness of their mothers.

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A polar bear cub sleeps on its mother. rel= © WWF / Geoff York

Polar bear mothers typically have 2 cubs in each litter. The first months after the cub's birth is spent inside the maternity den that the mother digs out of the snow.

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Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) gently carries young cub in her mouth. rel= © /Edwin Giesbers / WWF

On average, tigers give birth to 2-3 cubs every 2-2.5 years, and sometimes every 3-4 years. If all the cubs die, a second litter may be produced within 5 months.

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Black-browed albatross (Diomedea / Thalassarche melanophrys) with chick on nest, part of a large ... rel= © /Andy Rouse / WWF

Both the mother and father albatross take care of the chick. They take it in turns to find food for their chick, often flying huge distances to do so.

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Northern right whale mother & calf (Eubalaena glacialis) off the Atlantic coast of Florida. rel= © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

Right whale mothers and their calves display strong attachments, with the calf keeping in close contact with its mother by swimming up on her back or butting her with its head.

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Orang utan (Pongo pygmaeus) baby 'kissing' mother, Borneo. rel= © /Karl Ammann / WWF

Female orang-utans typically reproduce at around 10-15 years of age and mostly give birth to a single young. This makes them vulnerable if there are increased deaths in a population.

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