Motherhood is usually a positive and happy experience for those involved. This doesn't mean that it is always rainbows and butterflies because being a mom can also be terrifying, frustrating and overwhelming. But, it will probably never be as bad as being a mom in the animal kingdom.
There are lots of animal mothers who have a reputation for being bad because of their awful behaviours towards their young and while their actions are undeniably a part of survival and evolution, it is nonetheless horrible.
For these cruel parents, conditional love, neglect and feeding on their young is a normal part of everyday life. Here are 8 of the worst mothers of the animal kingdom:
Don't let their cuteness and cuddliness fool you, giant pandas can be cruel parents. Even though pandas often give birth to twins, they only end up caring for one of the cubs. The weaker of the two is usually ignored and left to survive on its own, while the stronger sibling is favored.
Apparently it's natural "quality control" to ensure that at least one cub survives because the mom's milk supply is usually very low. Panda moms are also very negligent. They're known for accidentally killing their infants by rolling over them while sleeping.
The cuckoo is lazy and hates commitment which makes it one of the worst moms in the animal kingdom. The bird is known to lay its eggs in another bird's nest, so that another mom is tricked into raising her chicks. After the cuckoo chick hatches, it grows faster than the other bird's youngsters and forces them out of the nest, resulting in their deaths.
3. Black Bears
Black bear moms are the exact opposite of pandas. These mothers usually birth two or more cubs at a time, but on the rare occasion that they only deliver one kid, the mother abandons the baby to fend for itself.
4. House Sparrows
Female house sparrows are very jealous and for a good reason: the males are notorious cheaters who mate with multiple females in their lifetime. However, their reaction to their partner's infidelity is horrible. Instead of dumping him, the female house sparrow will track down its partner's mistresses and kill their chicks. In doing so, all his attention will be on the chicks he shares with her.
If you haven't learned by now that looks are deceiving then perhaps the actions of rabbit mothers will convince you. The adorable critters spend no more than a few minutes after birth with their litter. Rabbit mothers leave the burrow and only stop by for a few minutes a day to feed the litter. The visits end after about 25 days and the young are then left to survive on their own.
6. Black Eagles
Black Eagle mothers get a bad rap for her laid-back attitude towards the violent squabbles their chicks get into. Instead of interfering to break up the fight, the mom often just sits back and watches the stronger, usually older chick kill its sibling.
While some of the other moms in the animal kingdom are being called out for their negligence and laziness, Hamster mothers are busy feeding on their offspring. That's right, these cute critters have been known to eat their babies and scientists are still working on an explanation for this behaviour. Some theories argue that it's a defense mechanism when she feels threatened by the size of the litter, while others say that it's a way to ensure the family's food supply is enough to go around.
8. Harp Seals
Harp seals are excellent mothers for the first 12 days of their baby's birth. In fact, they don't eat at all in that time. Sadly, everything goes downhill once the feeding period is over. The mom leaves the baby behind so she can get back into the mating game. Unfortunately, the stranded little one is too young to feed itself, so it goes on a lengthy period of fasting until it's ready to swim and hunt for food. This is why about 30% of harp seal pups die within their first year.
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