Animals that symbolize family include dogs, elephants, kangaroos, and lions. Most animals that represent family are pack animals, or have strong family ties or behaviors that humans have noticed. For example, mother kangaroos carry their joeys around for over 6 months in their pouches.
Many animal families tend to stick together, going through life as a team. In the animal kingdom, you can find many examples of devotion and loyalty to the family unit, so of course many of these animals have become symbols of family.
Animals That Symbolize Family
1. Capuchin Monkeys
Capuchin monkeys are very social and cooperative creatures, and they often live life close to their family members to allow more room for collaborating within a group.
Capuchins show us how much easier life can be when we reach out to our families for help when we need them.
They can also symbolize a personal need for us to spend more quality time with our families and other loved ones.
For many people around the world, the dog is a mainstay of a family unit and is symbolic of the potential of a functional, tight-knit group.
This is further exemplified by the domestic dog’s fierce loyalty and love for its family members.
Because of their status as a companion, recurring dreams and thoughts of dogs or the appearance of dog imagery can relate to issues or emotions you may be experiencing related to your family, or family loyalties.
Read More: 27 Dogs that Protect Sheep
Few animals are as family-orientated as the elephant, which makes it a perfect symbol of family values and commitment in many cultures.
Elephants are matriarchal animals that travel in herds made up of blood relatives, and they are so close-knit as a group that it is rare to see an elephant traveling alone.
They are protective and loyal to their kin, and will often travel great distances to reconnect with members that have strayed from the herd.
The elephant can act as an excellent guide on the importance of family and loyalty and can show us how to build and maintain closer familial relationships.
Related Article: What Eats Elephants?
A single honeybee is just one part of the hive, which acts as a single productive organism.
In this way, the honey bee can also represent family, and how each of us has a position within our respective family unit.
On the one hand, these insects can represent how we play a part in maintaining the balance and harmony of our family by working with our loved ones to build strong and lasting relationships.
On the other hand, they can also indicate the importance of maintaining your individuality and retaining your identity separate from your family or from what your family members might expect of you.
Related Article: Do Honeybee Sting?
Kangaroos are often seen with their babies nestled into the mother’s pouch. Mothers carry their babies around for between six and eleven months depending on the species, so kangaroos have come to represent maternity and family.
So, it’s easy to see how in Australia this mammal can be seen as a symbol of family and maternal instinct.
Those who are guided by the kangaroo spirit animal are quick to support their family members in times of need, and will often spend large amounts of their time and energy in doing so.
Related Article: What Eats Kangaroos?
Lions represent the pride one feels in their family due to fiercely close family connections.
In particular, the female lion is a perfect symbol of the importance of developing co-operation and closeness between each other and protecting your family.
The lion pride is one of the most cogent symbols in the animal kingdom of how a family can work together in harmony when you work toward clear communication and closeness.
Read More: 7 Animals that Eat Lions
7. Orca Whales
It’s unfortunate that the orca whale has a long-held reputation for aggression because these mammals are deeply family-focused, and only act with aggression while protecting their “pod,” the orca equivalent of a family.
These whales stick closely to their group, and rarely fraternize with others.
The orca is a symbol of how much comfort can be found in family, and how close connections to your loved ones can improve your satisfaction and longevity in life.
After all, orca in captivity (and separated from their pod) tend to live ten years less on average.
Otters, particularly females, are dedicated parents who put plenty of time and energy into their children.
These animals are symbols of the joy and frivolity that can be found in spending time with your loved ones.
They are also a reminder to all of us that it isn’t just fierce commitment and protection that is important in a family unit – it’s important to show affection and enjoy each other’s company too.
Penguins are well known for their monogamy and loyalty to their partner, but also their family unit in general.
Penguins are gentle and loving parents and are noted for devoting their lives not just to their own survival, but to providing and caring for their partner and babies. They are some of the most devoted animals on earth.
There are few animals that so perfectly represent the potential strength a family unit can have when members are treated with love and care, and work is put toward maintaining harmony and balance amongst family members.
Related Article: Do Penguins Imprint?
10. Prairie Dogs
Like the tiny ant, prairie dogs are a reminder that while life can be difficult on your own, it is always easier to tackle obstacles with your loved ones by your side.
Prairie dogs are very communal animals – they often live in family groups with multiple breeding females, and sometimes two breeding males who all raise and protect their children together.
While it may not be an endorsement of polygamy, these animals show that sometimes parents and children can function best when part of a larger family unit or community.
As is often said about these animals, the strength of the wolf lies in the strength of the pack. Wolves represent the strength of the family unit.
The idea being, that these animals find more power and fulfillment in their group, which is usually made up of their blood relatives.
In this way the wolf can be seen as a potent symbol of family and show how much stronger and better we can be when we keep close bonds with our loved ones.
Read More: White Wolf Symbolism
These animals are a wonderful reminder of how important family can be, both in the human world and the animal kingdom.
By considering how these creatures live and travel together, they can teach us that we should try where we can to foster unity and close connections with our family members. And we can do this through care and support, as well as simply spending quality time with our loved ones.
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.