Understanding mom

Capybara mother nuzzles her baby Photo: Nigel Treblina/AFP/Getty Images

A capybara and her baby nuzzle inside their enclosure at the Hanover Zoo in Germany.

Foster mom

Dog serves as foster mother to red panda cubs Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A dog nurses two red panda cubs after they were abandoned by their mother upon their birth at a zoo in Taiyuan, China.

Good-example mom

Mother and baby hippo take a journey underwater Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A baby hippopotamus swims alongside her mother on the first day of her presentation to the public at the Berlin Zoo in Germany.

Cautious mom

Polar bear mother and her baby Photo: Michael Latz/AFP/Getty Images

Polar bear Corinna stands on her hind legs as her 4-month-old cub Wilbaer perches on a rock at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany.

Eyes-in-the-back-of-her-head mom

Orangutan mother and baby Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFPGetty Images

A baby Bornean orangutan hangs on to the back of his mother Mari at the Singapore Zoo. The unnamed baby is the 40th orangutan birth to date at the zoo, which has the largest social colony of endangered Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.

Teaching moment mom

Mother swan and her fluffy chick Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

A motherly swan watches over her cygnets as they take a dip in the water at Abbotsbury Swannery in Abbotsbury, England. There are currently about 900 swans and 150 nests at the swannery, which is the world's only managed colony of wild mute swans.

Cleaning mom

Mother lion washes one of her cubs Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

An Asian lion mother Shirwane gives a bath to one of her cubs — born a month earlier — at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden of Budapest in Hungary.

Healthy habits mom

Baby pygmy hippo chomps on fresh vegetables with mother Photo: Ed Oudenaarden/AFP/Getty Images

A newborn pygmy hippopotamus chomps on fresh lettuce and carrots with its mother while exploring their enclosure at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Mom bond

Baby harp seal nuzzles its mother Photo: David Boily/AFP/Getty Images

A pup harp seal and mother keep close on the ice floes off the coast of the Magdalen Islands, Quebec a few weeks before the annual seal hunt.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

9 baby animals salute moms for Mother's Day
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