Humans aren’t the only parents on the planet to nurture and protect their children. Many parents in the animal kingdom are notorious for keeping their babies close, healthy, and fiercely guarded.

The Best Animal Parents in the Kingdom

Here are some of the best animal parents who will often sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of their children.

Geese have a strong family unit. Moms tend to their nest and care for their eggs, while dads guard the family and will babysit the eggs when moms go to get food.


This may not be the case for all species of penguins, but many parents share responsibilities and take turns hunting for food and sitting on their young, so chicks don’t freeze to death. The Emperor penguins, made famous by The March of the Penguins and Happy Feet, portray the parents as loyal and show their sacrifices for their young.


The bond between mother and child in the orangutan species is said to be one of the strongest in the animal kingdom. Children stay with their mothers for almost a decade and depend on them entirely for the first two years for food and transportation.


African elephants herd in groups of females who work together to protect everybody’s offspring. Elephants have the longest pregnancy of any mammal – almost two years.


Lions are one of the most protective mothers. The lionesses help lead the pride by hunting for the males and caring for the cubs.


Panda mothers take great care of their cubs. They cuddle their babies and nurse them for up to nine months. They don’t let their cubs out of sight until they are at least 18 months, when they may become pregnant again.