Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
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Happy Mother’s Day From Wild Florida

When it comes to mothering, wild Florida is filled with fierce mamas. Some of our most iconic wildlife is known for its protective, understanding, and patient nature, much like our own mothers.

The Protector 

When it comes to their young, American alligator moms do not mess around. Female alligators build a mound nest of soil, vegetation, or debris and lay approximately 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. Incubation requires approximately 60-65 days, and hatching occurs in late August or early September. It’s during this time their protective nature kicks into overdrive. Up to one-third of nests are destroyed by predators and flooding, so nesting females will aggressively defend their eggs. FWC suggests maintaining at least a 15-foot distance during nesting season.

The Teacher

Florida panther kittens rely on their mothers to teach them all they need to know for survival in the wildest of Florida habitats. While adults are typically solitary animals, kittens will remain with their mothers for over a year. Female panthers are solely responsible for raising their young. During the first few weeks of life, a panther mother spends most of her time in their den nursing her kittens. Later, she will teach her kittens how to stalk and kill their prey by first hiding them nearby as she hunts. By nine months, she will have taught her kittens to hunt small prey on their own. Sound like your own mother? Give her the gift of wild Florida with our panther plush.

The Tolerant

Manatee mothers may be the most patient of all Floridian moms. Despite being nutritionally independent at around one year old, manatee calves may remain with their mothers for up to two years. Adult manatees typically swim in a single file line, but calves are almost always at their mother’s side. Mothers will not attack humans or animals who get too close to their calves, but they have been observed swimming between their offspring and the intruder.

In need of a last-minute gift for your own wild mama? Consider a donation to our range of funds in her honor. Whether she’s a manatee lover, conservation hero, or the outdoorsy type, we have a fund to merit her favorite thing about Florida.

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