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The Best & The Worst Animal Dads

June 17, 2020

The Best & The Worst Animal Dads

Males in the animal kingdom don't have the best rap sheet when it comes to being dads. But there are some out there, who do just as much work, and put in just as much love and effort as the moms do. 

To celebrate Father's Day, we're going to have some fun and highlight the Best and the Worst Animal Dads.


Bat-Eared Fox

Bat Eared Fox with cubs
Kicking it off at the top of the list for Best Animal Dad is the bat-eared fox. These guys are great dads and they do everything a mom would do except suckle the pups.

Black-Backed Jackal

Black-Backed Jackle
Here's another great dad. Like bat-eared foxes, these black-backed jackals are awesome dads. They are attentive, playful and even feed their pups regurgitated meat!

Adelie Penguin

Adelie Penguin
Still coming in as one of the best animal dads, we have the Adelie penguin. These dads help the mom with incubating the eggs, and once the chicks hatch he will also help feed them.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorilla
Silverback mountain gorillas will fight to the death to protect their families. They are also mentors and protectors of young and juvenile gorillas and will even play with them. Their protection over the young gorillas increases their chances of survival during childhood – especially those who are orphaned.


male lion and cub


Father lions can be gentle and playful, but sometimes they lose their patience and can get a bit grumpy. While female lions do most of the hunting, a male lion certainly isn't lazy. His job is to protect the pride and he will put his life on the line for his females and cubs.



Still coming in on the side of being a great dad are egrets. In a refreshing twist for the animal kingdom, egret dads are excellent homemakers. The male builds a nest platform from long sticks and twigs before pairing up with a female, and then both of them may complete the nest together, though the male often finishes it himself. He will also helps feed the chicks.

Cotton-top Tamarin


Here's a bit of a different one - the cotton-top tamarin. It takes a village to raise these little guys!  All the males in the group take turns tending to and carrying the alpha female's babies. This is something called communal care - as in all the members of the troop take care of the young.


kangaroo family

Moving on down the list, here's a not so stellar dad. Kangaroos. Basically the dads protect the moms from other males that will try and steal his ladies. And occasionally he will...sniff...the joey.

Sea Lion

sea lion male and pup

Giving the kangaroo a run for his money on "Most Indifferent Father of the Year" we have sea lions. These guys are the runner-up for worst animal dad of the year. He has one job. He comes around to mate, and once he's done that - his job is finished. After the pups are born, he will simply ignore them. 


Lastly...and certainly the clear winner of
the Worst Father of the Year is the.....

Sea Otter

sea otter family

Sea otter pups probably wish their dads were kangaroos or sea lions. These little guys are naughty as can be and some of randiest males in the animal kingdom. They routinely try to mate with females that still have pups.

Regardless of whether they’re the dad of a pup or not - they do something called “hostage behavior”. That means, while mom is foraging underwater- he’ll grab the pup floating helplessly at the surface and hold it hostage until mom gives him whatever she found while hunting.


To say thanks to your dad, for not being like those last few animal dads - stop by the Baby Animal Print Shop and get him a stunning photo of the animal dad that he reminds you of most. 

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