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Friday, May 6, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day: from fierce to snugly, mom is the best


Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Mother’s Day gives us a reason to celebrate all the fierce, snugly, protective, patient, kind, encouraging, creative, amazing, smart and inspiring mamas out there. “Mom” can mean many things—whether the title refers to sharing 50% of our DNA or to being an incredible, strong role model in our life—we are grateful for all moms, mothers, mamas, mums, mommies, mas and mumsies!

When it comes to motherhood, the matriarchs of the animal kingdom will do whatever it takes to protect their young. With a ferocious love for their family, these mamas go the extra mile to keep their family safe and provide enough food to help them thrive.

While most human moms don’t resort to teeth or claws to protect their kids (although we don’t recommend you test them), they do share some essential traits with these outstanding animal moms. Here are a few of our favorite mommy moments caught by our zoo photographers.

Home is where mom is. 
The comfort and safety of being next to your mom is irreplaceable. Whether you are two months old or 50 years old, being by mom’s side is hard to beat.

Shy baby Misawa hides behind mom, Tufani, 2013. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.
Once a mom, always a mom. 
No matter how big the cubs get, mom is still number one.

Adia watches over one of her sons as the growing cub grabs an afternoon cat nap, 2013. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo. 

Food is best when mom makes it.
Whether it’s mom’s browse or mom’s spaghetti carbonara, it always tastes better. 

A mama tree kangaroo shows her joey (still in the pouch) how to feast on fresh browse, 2011. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
Mom keeps us in check...
Our best critic, and strongest supporter.

Snow leopard, Helen, with her cub, 2009. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
...and keeps us clean.
Mom always helps us look our best.

Helen with her cubs, 2009. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

We follow in mom’s footsteps.
Her shoes may seem impossible to fill, but we’ll never stop trying.

A baby pudu, the tiniest deer in the world, follows mom’s trail in the Temperate Forest, 2010. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Mom makes everything look easy.
Whether it’s fishing for dinner or building a cozy nest, mom knows best.

An Asian small-clawed otter pup watches mom fish for an afternoon snack in Banyan Wilds, 2013. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Mom encourages us to dream.
She makes sure we dream big, and gives us the push we need to reach for the stars.

Nadia serves as the perfect pillow to one of her three jaguar cubs, 2013. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Mom is beautiful.
Just like us.

A Chilean flamingo kisses her chick, 2010. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Mom is weird.
Just like us.

A baby Partula snail hitches a ride on mom’s back, 2007. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Mom is a patient teacher.
And she always has our back.

Tasha, a patient mama sloth bear, watches as her cub practices climbing up a steep log, 2013. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

She is graceful and kind.
Mom teaches us to be kind to others as well.

A red-crowned crane shows its chick how to gracefully dip her beak to drink, 2010. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Most of all, mom shows us the world is a beautiful place.
Her love teaches us to stay curious, explore and always stop to smell the roses (or watch the birds.)

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo. 
Thanks to all the moms who make our zoo such a special place. 

Celebrate this Mother’s Day by naming a butterfly in honor of your favorite mamas! (We recommend the Queen Butterfly).

 Name a Butterfly

Name a Butterfly and in appreciation of your support, you’ll receive a digital certificate—perfect for sharing or gifting—and your butterfly’s name will be displayed all summer long on signage just outside our upcoming butterfly exhibit, Molbak’s Butterfly Garden.

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