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Life Story: Parenthood

Updated Tuesday, 7th October 2014

Offspring are the next best thing to immortality. Parents take great risks to raise them.

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Bonobos (Pan paniscus) along with chimpanzees, are our closest animal relatives. Like humans, the bond between Bonobo mother and baby is intense and will last many years and often for the rest of their lives. Democratic Republic of Congo. Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC/Theo Webb A bonobo mother and baby

About the episode

Raising offspring, continuing the line, is the next best thing to immortality. But it’s far from easy... Some parents risk their own lives for their offspring.

After laying her eggs in the best possible location, a mother green turtle races time and tide to survive, while a mother bison must fend off an entire pack of wolves to protect her precious calf.

There’s no substitute for a mother’s love; a hanuman langur gratefully accepts the services of an apparently adoring babysitter, but must intervene when playtime gets too rough for her delicate infant.

A devoted fork-tailed drongo mother is duped into caring for someone else’s offspring. Not so for a bonobo mother whose commitment to her son lasts a lifetime, in the most intimate wild footage captured of this species in a decade.

This episode was first broadcast on Thursday 27th November 2014 on BBC One.

 

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