Anyone who’s ever watched a documentary on animals in the wild has no doubt seen examples of the fiercely protective nature of some animals, which is a trait humans often celebrate in themselves. Being protective of your children, in particular, is something parents take pride in, and that fierce protectiveness is often on display in the animal kingdom, too.
Among animals, it’s mothers that are most often known for being protective of their offspring, because moms do most of the child rearing in nature. Sometimes this protective nature can be amusing to us humans, such was the case in 2013 when Mei Xiang, one of the pandas that lives at the Smithsonian National Zoo, tried to prevent zookeepers from examining her newborn cub, National Geographic reports.
On occasion, protective parents will take drastic measures to try to keep humans away from their babies. Canada geese, for example, can be pretty feisty in spring, both when males are protecting their female nesting partner as she sits on the nest and later, after the goslings hatch, when both parents are ready to step in if anything or anyone gets too close to the babies. Geese will hiss, flap their wings and chase when trying to protect their nest and babies, so it’s best to give them their space.
Female whales are also extremely protective of their calves and will try to fight off predators looking for an easy meal, especially when it’s other whales doing the hunting, National Geographic reports. Octopi, too, are dedicated to protecting the next generation. Before the eggs hatch, mother octopi will stand guard over their offspring without ever taking a break to eat or leave the area.
Lead image: Much like humans, snakes enjoy soaking in the warm spring sun. (Photo by Chad Merda)