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Watch: The Dark Side of Parenting in the Animal Kingdom

Motherly Love: Witness Scenes From Africa's Wild Moms
Photo by Matt Reed on Unsplash

Parenting is not always as wholesome in the animal kingdom as we may expect. While some species exhibit exemplary parental behavior, others shock us with their seemingly heartless actions. This article narrates the intriguing actions of bad parents filmed in the wild, shown in the video clip.

Stork’s Shocking Act

stork parenting
Photo by Ben Berwers on Unsplash

The perception of storks as symbols of new life takes a dark turn in the animal kingdom. A shocking video captured a parent stork pushing its own chick out of the nest, raising questions about its parenting instincts. However, this seemingly brutal act resulted from natural selection, where parents recognize their inability to sustain all their offspring due to limited resources.

Hippopotamus Horror

Image by 16692474 from Pixabay

The Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, witnessed a gruesome event in 2015 when a baby hippopotamus fell victim to its own herd. The attack resulted as the mother failed to protect her newborn from being torn apart into pieces by adult hippos. And later eaten by a crocodile. Experts applied overpopulation theories as a possible explanation for the herd’s behavior. 

Lions and the Circle of Life

lion parenting
Pride of Lions

Lions, often associated with strength and pride, can also engage in ruthless behavior when it comes to parenting. A clip showed how a change in male leadership within a pride led to the killing of cubs from the previous male’s lineage. This cruel act was driven by the necessity to mate with the females, as they cannot conceive while nursing. 

Pigs and Maternal Cannibalism

pig piglet
Photo by Kameron Kincade on Unsplash

Pigs also surprised us with their violent and aggressive behavior towards their offspring. One of the sows exhibited aggression attacks and even resorted to cannibalism by eating its own newborns. The reasons behind such behavior remain unclear, ranging from painful childbirth to hereditary instincts. Nowadays, scientists attempt to prevent such incidents by using sedatives on mother pigs during childbirth.

Pandas’ Heart-Wrenching Choice

panda parenting
Photo by Pascal Muller on Unsplash

Pandas, the endearing and endangered species, face a dilemma while birthing twins, as shown in the clip. It displayed how the mother is forced to choose which cub to feed and which to abandon. It often leads to the tragic death of one. This choice is dictated by the challenges posed in caring for both cubs simultaneously. 

Dolphin Drama

dolphins underwater
Photo by Talia Cohen on Unsplash

The oceanic world also holds tales of dark parenting, as witnessed in the bottlenose dolphin community. Males engaged in infanticide by attempting to drown a newborn dolphin shortly after birth. Scientists believe this ruthless act is driven by the males’ desire for mating opportunities. If a female dolphin loses her calf, she becomes available for mating sooner. 


monkey parent
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

As we explore the darker side of parenting in the animal kingdom, it becomes evident that nature’s ways are not always gentle or nurturing. Each species adapts its parenting strategies, from storks to dolphins, to survive in the wild. While these stories look terrible, we learn valuable insights into the lengths creatures go to ensure their survival. 

Check out the playlist shared on the WATOP, a wildlife YouTube channel, for more informative videos.

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