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#1: Lion lion father and cub
The male lion sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to parenting. He is known for lounging in the shade while his lioness risks her life hunting all day long. Hunting is no easy task for her considering male lions eats about 65 pounds of meat per day! What’s worse, when mom brings in a kill, dad always gets dibs on the first juicy cut before mom and the kids get to eat. However, when his pride is in danger, the male lion really steps up and becomes ferociously protective of his pride, which can consist of 30 or more lionesses and cubs. When he senses a threat, his fatherly intuition kicks in and he does anything and everything to ensure the safety of his family. Join us on an African safari to see lions in the wild.
A typical gorilla father is in charge of a clan as large as 30 gorillas. He is responsible for finding food for his group, which is a big job seeing as gorillas typically eat up to 50 pounds of food per day! He is quite respectful of the mother of his children, always dining with her first before letting the kids join in on the meal. A gorilla dad is also very attentive, fending off threats by fiercely beating his chest and charging enemies. He often has to fight off other male gorillas who are known to kill baby gorillas when trying to take over the group. He spends a good deal of time with their young until they become teenagers, playing lovingly with his offspring and settling any arguments that arise between siblings. See gorillas in their natural habitat on our Uganda and Rwanda tours.
#3: African Wild Dog
Just like the puppies of domesticated dogs, African wild dog pups are extremely active and expend quite a few calories throughout the day. Since the pups are unable to eat solid foods until they are about ten weeks old, their father will swallow their food and then regurgitate the softer version for the pups to eat, making sure they get enough nourishment. Some parents will stop at nothing to make sure their kids have a square meal! This feeding practice serves another purpose, too—since the pups have to rely on their fathers for food, it keeps them from wandering too far from home, so they don’t fall prey to enemies. See African wild dogs on any of Nat Hab’s Botswana safaris.
#4: Greater Flamingo
Male flamingos are all around good guys. Even while congregating in a flock of thousands of birds, these guys remain monogamous, mating with one special gal for life. Flamingo dads are also feminists, as they wholeheartedly believe in gender equality, which is rare in the animal kingdom. When it comes time to mate, dad helps mom select a nesting site, and together they construct the nest out of mud. Once she lays her egg, the father shares in the responsibility of incubating the egg, as they take turns sitting on the nest for equal amounts of time. Once the hatchling is born, mom and dad share all parenting duties equally. See greater flamingos on one of Nat Hab’s Galapagos tours.