two prairie dogs embracing

6 Adorable Animal Bonds



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.

Although relationships may look different in the animal world than in our human one, many animals form strong bonds, create lasting friendships, and proudly protect their family circles.

Otter family

1. Otters

Otters have a playful reputation, and their love runs deep. River otters are known to share their love with one mate during the course of their lives, and mother otters demonstrate their maternal superpowers by caring for two litters a year — that’s up to 12 otter pups, with just a 60-day gestation period!

Spread the Love: Pledge to Organize for Otters to help us stop the cruel pet otter craze and ensure that animals like otters stay in the wild.

Two elephants

2. Elephants

Elephants set a high standard for familial loyalty. Male elephants tend to live alone, but female elephants typically live in large family groups, either with their offspring or alongside other female relatives and their young. Elephant herds focus much of their energy and attention on raising 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 supporting the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act.

Cows grazing

3. Cows

It’s common knowledge that cows live in social herds, but did you know 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, eating, and licking.

Spread the Love: Reduce your environmental impact by signing up for Meating Halfway, our 21-day guide to reduce the amount of meat that you eat.


4. Gibbons

In keeping with most primates, gibbons are very sociable and territorial animals. They typically bond with one mate over the course of their lives, although this is not always the case.

Spread the Love: Primates do not belong in households, but many are bred to satisfy the demand for primate pets. Support the Captive Primate Safety Act to help end the cruel primate pet trade.


5. Pigs

We already knew that mother pigs are all-stars thanks 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: Help hold companies accountable for past promises on pig welfare.


6. Dolphins

Dolphins are social creatures and create strong 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 who are ill or injured.

Spread the Love: Don’t be fooled by their smiles — captive dolphins are suffering. You can help protect dolphins in the wild and keep them in their communities by joining the pod.


While it undoubtedly brings us joy to understand the ways that these six animals show care and love for one another, it’s not only these animals who deserve our respect and protection. Learn more about World Animal Protection’s work to protect animals in the wild and in farming, and find out how to help.

Please consider donating today to further support our work and ongoing mission to protect animals.

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