The 5 worst fathers in the animal kingdom
These dads won’t be getting any Father’s Day cards this Sunday.
You may already know that a male lion that recently became head of his pride will usually kill all the cubs sired by the previous leader. But while that makes lions terrible step-dads, it doesn’t make them terrible fathers. What makes lions bad dads is a combination of greed and laziness. Papa lions spend most of their day lying in the shade, waiting for one of their wives to bring home dinner. The female does all of the hunting and pretty much all of the parenting. The male’s job is to protect his territory from other prides and scavengers like hyenas.
Once the mama brings home her kill, the male lion is always the first one to eat and he often leaves only scraps for the rest of the pride – including any of his recently weaned children. If it’s a rough hunting season, an alpha lion will let his wives and children starve first.
2. Grizzly Bears
It’s rare for any animal-kingdom father to eat his own young when he isn’t desperate for food, but the male grizzly bear will do just that. These baby-daddies are extremely protective of their territories, which can range all the way up to 1,500 miles, and are opportunistic hunters, willing to kill and eat anything that happens to enter their home turf – even their own cubs.
That means mama bears have to be extra good parents, not only making sure to feed their cubs and teach them how to survive on their own, but also ensuring their youngsters never happen to stray into their daddy’s bachelor pad.
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