By Leigh Kemp
Animals protect their young from danger in a number of ways. With traditionally migratory animals such as the Wildebeest the young are able to run and keep up with the adults within an hour of birth.
This adaptation ensures that the herds are not delayed by slow moving individuals. If the young were not strong enough to move immediately the migration would be slowed, leaving the herds susceptible to thirst and starvation.
The young of predators are also vulnerable to attacks, and as such the predators also have to adapt protection techniques. Leopards and Lions hide their young from other predators and Baboons, as the young will be killed without hesitation should they be chanced upon by other species.
When danger threatens their young Lion and Leopard will mock charge intruders, in an attempt at scaring them away.
Numerous species of birds will act as if they are injured so as to attract perceived danger away from their young. It is mostly the ground breeders that do this. I have observed Lapwings screeching and flapping their wings at Elephants that have been walking toward their nests.
Lapwings, and other bird species, move away from their young when perceiving danger. They will drag a wing or walk with bended knees to show some sort of weakness so as to trick the predator into thinking they are wounded, and as such will lead the predator away from the young. When the predator gets too close to them they will simply fly off.