Life as a single parent can be rough, but one beaver Dad rose to the challenge -- a fitting reminder, as Father's Day nears, that nature equips fathers with everything it takes, and a timely tribute to all the human single dads out there.
After mourning the loss of his female mate, "Dad" the beaver had to learn how to care for his family on his own. After all, he still had three young kits to look after, Discovery News' Jennifer Viegas first reported.
But officials at Worth A Dam wondered if the he could do it.
"Would they learn everything they needed to know without a mother?" Heidi Perryman, president and founder of the organization, told Discovery News.
Although "Dad" and his partner raised 12 kits together, the single father stepped up to the plate and managed to take on his new role like a pro, handling everything from diving lessons to dinner.
According to National Geographic, beavers maintain monogamous relationships with their mates and live in lodges with their family.
New offspring are born each spring and often scurry off to build their own homes at about 2 years of age, Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife notes.
The older children or "yearlings" often look after the younger ones when their parents are away.
In addition to beavers, at least 11 other animals also remain true to their loved ones, according to Mother Nature Network. Wolves, swans and gibbons are just some of the creatures that practice monogamy.
PBS points out that while females are usually the primary caretakers in most animal relationships, some "dads" do take active roles in their offsprings' lives.
Aside from looking after his mate while she nurses, the male Red Fox teaches his pups self-defense and survival skills. And the male emperor penguin keeps his mate's egg warm during winter and produces milk to feed his offspring.
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