Although relationships tend to look different in the animal world than in our human one, there are a number of animals that mate for life, create lasting friendships, or proudly protect their family circles. This Valentine’s Day, let these animal bonds inspire you to share your appreciation for all the loved ones in your life and learn how you can help protect these animals.
7 Animals that mate for life or create lasting bonds
Otters have a playful reputation, but their love runs deep. River otters in particular are known to be monogamous, and typically stay loyal to one partner during the course of their lives. On top of their romantic commitments, mother otters also demonstrate their maternal super powers by caring for 2 litters a year — that’s up to 12 otter pups, with just a 60-day gestation period.
While elephants are not among the animals that mate for life, the elephant family sets a high standard for familial loyalty. Male elephants tend to live alone, but female elephants typically live in large family groups, either with their own offspring or alongside other female relatives and their young, too. Elephant herds focus much of their energy and attention onraising and protecting their calves.
Spread the Love: Tens of thousands of wild animals, including elephants, are being abused for the sake of entertaining tourists. You can help alleviate their misery by joining the Wildlife. Not Entertainers. movement today.
We’re familiar with wolves that run in packs, but maybe less familiar with wolves that run in pairs. In the wild, each wolf pack is actually made up of multiple nuclear families. Wolves are animals that mate for life, and typically male and female wolves stay together for life, although they have to rebound quickly if their mate passes away.
Spread the Love: Descendants of wolves are known as man’s best friend. However, persecution and inhumane culling are cruel facts of life for millions of dogs around the world. Learn about the 10 amazing things we achieved for dogs in the last decade through our Better Lives for Dogs campaign.
It’s common knowledge that cows live in social herds, but did you know that they also have best friends? In addition to living in herds, cows show recognition of, and preference towards, other individuals. Cow friendship is expressed primarily through companionship in grazing and eating, as well as through licking.
Spread the Love: Reduce your environmental impact by signing our pledgeto reduce the amount of cruelly-produced meat that you eat.
In keeping with most primates, gibbons are very sociable and territorial animals. They typically commit to the same mate for life, although some proof of philandering shows that they are not always sexually monogamous.
Spread the Love: Primates do not belong in households, but many are being bred to satisfy the demand for primate pets. Support the Captive Primate Safety Act to help put an end to the cruel primate pet trade.
We already knew that mother pigs were all-starsthanks to their protective nature of all piglets in their herd and their single-minded determination to build a safe home for their young. But did you also know that mother pigs sing to their young? This comforting touch puts the pig’s mother-child bonds above the rest.
Spread the Love: Pledge to Raise Pigs Right and demand better conditions for mother pigs on factory farms.
Dolphins do not mate for life, but they do create strong social bonds with their pod members. These bonds extend beyond companionship to caregiving — dolphins have been known to give special protection and aid to those in their pod that are ill or injured.
While it undoubtedly brings us joy to understand the ways that animals show loyalty, care, and love to one another, it’s not only animals that mate for life that deserve our respect and protection. Learn more aboutthe work that World Animal Protection doesto protect animals in the wild, in communities, in disasters, and in farming, and find out how you can help.
To further support our work and ongoing mission to protect animals, please consider joining our monthly giving program today.