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27 Animals that are Protective (A to Z List & Pictures)

Bear with Cub

Examples of animals that are protective include anteaters, African wild dogs, brown bears, chimpanzees, and crows.

Animals can be very protective of their territory. Some animals are more defensive than others, but they all have a natural instinct to protect themselves and their family.

Examples of Animals that are Protective

We all know that animals can be cute and cuddly. They also have the ability to protect themselves and others from danger, as well.

1. Anteater

anteater
Scientific NameVermilingua
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

The anteater is a large, mammal that lives in Central and South America. These animals are known for their long tongues and protective nature.

Anteaters will often stand up on their hind legs to look larger and intimidate predators or potential threats.

Anteaters also have only one baby per year which they protect by carrying it on their backs.

2. African Wild Dogs

african wild dog
Scientific NameLycaon pictus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Africa
DietCarnivore

These dogs are very territorial and protective of their pack. They will aggressively defend their territory against other animals, including humans.

The average pack consists of around 27 dogs. The IUCN lists them as vulnerable due to habitat loss. They are fiercely loyal to one another and will care for sick or injured companions.

South African Wild Dogs are endangered, with an expected 3k to 5500 remaining in the wild.

3. Bees

bee
Scientific NameAnthophila
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Bees have a reputation for being particularly aggressive and protecting themselves by stinging people who get too close to the hive, especially when they feel like the hive is threatened.

This has earned bees a bad reputation, but they are actually quite gentle creatures if left alone.

4. Brown Bear

brown bear
Scientific NameUrsus arctos
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

Bears like to be left alone and would rather not interact with humans. They can become defensive if they feel threatened by a human, but this is usually only when the bear has cubs or food around.

5. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee
Scientific NamePan troglodytes
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Senegal
DietOmnivore

Chimpanzees are very protective of their families and will fight to the death to defend them.

6. Crows

crow
Scientific NameCorvus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Crows are very protective of their nests. They can be aggressive and will attack anything that gets too close to the nest.

7. Dogs

growling dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Dogs can be protective animals because they will stand up to any person that might be a threat to their owners.

They have been known to attack people and other animals that they feel are a danger to their family or home. Dogs can be very loyal and protective of the people they love.

8. Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin
Scientific NameDelphinus delphis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Dolphins are very protective of their young and will often fight off predators or protect them from being harmed. They have even been known to help humans when they are in danger.

9. Ducks

duck
Scientific NameAnas platyrhynchos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Ducks are extremely protective of their young. Mother ducks will be very aggressive towards anything that approaches her ducklings, even if the thing is much bigger than her babies. She might hiss or try to peck at you with her powerful bill.

10. Elephants

elephants
Scientific NameLoxodonta
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and Asia
DietHerbivore

The elephant is known for being very protective of their young ones. Although they are huge animals that can be dangerous when provoked, an elephant mom would go out of her way in protecting her baby from any threat.

11. Geese

goose eating grass
Scientific NameBranta canadensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Geese are known for their protective nature. They will often stand in front of their young to protect them from oncoming danger. Geese have even been known to attack predators that come too close to their nests or young.

12. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus
Scientific NameHippopotamus amphibius
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietOmnivore

A hippo mother is very protective of her young and will fight to the death if need be. In fact, male hippos are extremely aggressive with one another in order to establish their place in a social hierarchy.

13. Hyenas

hyena
Scientific NameHyaenidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and eastwards through Arabia to India
DietCarnivore

Hyenas are some of the most well-known animals that protect their young. They live in social communities called clans with up to 80 members, which is unique for carnivores who primarily hunt alone.

The clan usually consists of only females and cubs until they become old enough to fend for themselves when male hyenas join the group as well.

14. Leopard

leopard
Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

Leopards are one of the animals that are most protective of their young. They have been known to fight off predators and even other leopards to protect their cubs. Leopards are also very territorial and will fiercely defend their territory against intruders.

15. Long-Tailed Macaques

Long-Tailed Macaque
Scientific NameMacaca fascicularis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesoutheast Asia
DietOmnivore

The long-tailed macaque is a species of Old World monkey that is native to Southeast Asia. These monkeys are known for being highly protective of their territory and young. They have been known to attack humans and other animals who enter their space.

16. Lions

Lion licking its lips
Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietCarnivore

The lion is one of the most protective animals in the world. They will fiercely defend their territory and family members from any threat. Lions are also very loyal to their pride and will work together to protect each other.

17. Orcas

orca
Scientific NameOrcinus orca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Orcas are known as the wolves of the sea because they are so protective of their family members. They have been known to help other animals who are in danger, even humans.

For example, an orca was seen protecting a seal from being eaten by a shark. Orcas will also protect their territory from other marine life.

18. Otters

otter
Scientific NameLutrinae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Otters are known for being very protective of their young. If they see someone or something near their offspring, they will start to make loud noises and could even attack the intruder.

This is likely because otters are a relatively solitary species and the young is their only chance at continuing their lineage.

19. Penguins

Emperor Penguin
Scientific NameSpheniscidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAntarctica
DietCarnivore

Penguins are very protective of their young. They often stand in front of or on top of the baby penguin to protect it from predators like sea lions and leopard seals, which might try to eat them.

However, sometimes they fight among themselves over who gets to be “on guard” first.

20. Panda Bear

panda bear
Scientific NameAiluropoda melanoleuca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeChina
DietHerbivore

The panda bear is a great example of an animal that is protective. They are known for being very nurturing and caring parents. If they think their young ones or family members are in danger, they will do whatever it takes to protect them.

21. Piping Plovers

Plover
Scientific NameCharadrius melodus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeUnited States from North Carolina to Texas
DietCarnivore

These little birds are famously known for their willingness to use their own bodies as shields. They live on beaches where they lay eggs in small scrapes or depressions. Piping Plovers begin laying four days after the sun rises above the horizon and stop when it sets below it, taking 23-25 days total. This is because, as the sun rises, so do predators.

This observant small bird will pick up a stick or any other object it can find and place it on its eggs to form a barrier between them and potential predators.

It is believed that this behavior began when European settlers brought cats with them over from Europe

22. Polar Bear

polar bears
Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeArctic
DietCarnivore

Polar bears are very protective of their young. They also tend to be aggressive toward other animals that come near them or their cubs. Polar bear mothers will fight with anything from a polar bear to a human if the animal is seen as a threat towards her young.

A mother polar bear may even kill another mother’s baby in order to make sure her own cubs survive.

23. Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dog
Scientific NameTetraodontidae
Type of AnimalFish
Rangesubtropical ocean waters
DietCarnivore

Prairie dogs are rodents that live in the Great Plains of North America. They are very social animals and live in colonies called towns.

Each town has a mayor, who is the dominant male prairie dog. Prairie dogs are very protective of their territory and will bark at intruders.

24. Swans

Mute Swan
Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

Swans are very protective of their young. If a human or animal gets too close to the baby swan, this parent will flap its wings and hiss at them as a warning for them to stay away from its child.

25. Rhinoceros

Two rhinos next to each other
Scientific NameRhinocerotidae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietHerbivore

The rhinoceros is known for being one of the most protective animals in the world. These massive creatures are not afraid to stand up to predators or intruders, and they have been known to charge and even kill people who they feel are a threat.

26. Tree Kangaroos

Scientific NameSarcophilus harrisii
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeTasmania
DietCarnivore

Tree Kangaroos are the only species of kangaroo that live in trees. They can be found mostly within Australia and Papua New Guinea because they need a lot of foliage for food.

The baby tree kangaroos will ride on their mother’s back until they are about six months old and then start to live on their own.

27. Wolves

wolf
Scientific NameCanis lupus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America, Europe, Asia and North Africa
DietCarnivore

Wolves are known for being very protective of their pack and territory. They will fiercely defend their family and home against any threat, whether it be another animal or a human.

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