[WARNING: Graphic videos below!! Nature isn’t always pretty.]
Public service announcement: If you’re considering an exotic pet, please do your research. There are millions of pets in rescues because of impulse purchases by owners who had no idea what they were getting into. If you’re still set on getting an exotic pet after you’ve done your research, consider adopting one from a rescue organization.
The miracle of birth — it’s awe-inspiring and at the same time terribly gruesome. Anyone who has ever witnessed a live birth must at some point wonder how any thinking creature can choose to go through such an ordeal. Fortunately, our animal friends, including our beloved pets, spend exactly no time contemplating whether childbearing is worth the time and effort. As much as we’d like to imagine a more cuddly, loving narrative, they procreate because they must, not because they desire to create a beautiful family. Those same powerful instincts allow them to (mostly) give birth without human intervention. However, as evidenced by most of these home videos of pets giving births, the humans can almost never resist the urge to lend a hand. Nevertheless, despite their midwifery duties, many individuals have managed to capture some excellent footage of their pets giving birth.
Here are the 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos:
10) Sphynx Cat
If you think hairless sphynx cats are weird-looking, you should see their babies! It almost feels inappropriate watching this hairless mama with human-like qualities during a very intimate time. This pampered feline has the benefit of a midwife to help things along at every turn. No word on whether the little mother is grateful for the help or if she’s bothered by the camera all up in her business.
Bonus: video: Sphynx vs. Dachshund
The sphynx kitty appears to be looking for lunch, with dachshund thigh being high on his list of meat cuts. This cat gives the tenacious dachsie a run for his money!
9) Blue-Tongue Skink
Blue-tongue skinks, native to Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea, are among the largest members of the skink family. Easily identified by their berry-colored blue tongues, these lizards are viviparous — they give birth to live young, unlike many other lizard species that lay eggs. The females usually give birth to one to five young, which fend for themselves from the moment they’re born. In the video above, the mother skink gives birth to a large brood of six hatchlings. They emerge looking like miniature versions of their parents and immediately begin flicking their tongues and eating their placental membranes. Thirty minutes later the sibling group feasts on a large salad (with chunks of meat) while their exhausted mom looks on.
Ferret kits are only the size of a tube of lipstick when they’re born. Their eyes and ears are sealed, rendering them blind and unable to hear clearly. They’re completely helpless and dependent on their mother. They’re born covered with a very fine layer of fuzz and with the placenta still attached. The mother ferret (called a jill) chews through the umbilical cord to separate it from the kit; her powerful bite clamps down on the cord to reduce bleeding. In some cases (as in the video above), the mother picks up the kit in her mouth and shakes it violently to remove the placenta.
7) Garter Snake
Garter snakes, including the Oregon red-spotted garter snake in the video above, are ovoviviparous. The eggs are incubated inside the mother and the hatchlings appear to be “born” rather than hatched. While most snakes lay their eggs and walk away — or rather, slither away — ovoviviparous species wait until after the hatchlings emerge to abandon them. In the video above the itty bitty snake struggles to emerge from the transparent, flexible egg, instinctively fighting for his first breath of oxygen.
It’s unusual to see a disheveled chinchilla — usually they’re fastidious about grooming their luxurious fur. But who can blame mama Mochi for looking a bit out of sorts while giving birth to two HUGE babies? Watch how she rolls around on her newborn (called a kit) to rouse him immediately after birth (as his curious twin climbs all over his new sibling). Chinchilla babies are born ready-to-roll, right out of the box, covered with hair, eyes open and able to walk and hop.
Hedgehog babies (sometimes called hoglets) are around one inch long at birth, blind, hairless, and completely dependent upon their mothers. They’re born with a fluid-saturated membrane covering their spines, much to the relief of the poor mothers! As the membrane dries and shrinks over the next six to twelve hours, the spines (at first soft and hair-like) emerge. They will not become hard for another two weeks. Sadly, the carnivorous mothers will sometimes eat their young in the hours and days immediately following their birth.
4) White Mouse
Imagine giving birth to six babies while your fifteen grandkids are climbing all over you! While the owner of this voluminous crew is trying to spin this as a lovely story of mouse family affection, the truth is that the “grandmother” isn’t helping out just to be nice. She’s looking at the placenta as a tasty treat, not as a way to express her love and affection toward her daugher and the grandkids. If you’re afraid of mice, this video will terrify you.
I truly, truly pity this mother rabbit. Her owners had no idea that she was expecting and when she started dropping babies on the living room floor, all they could think to do was grab a camera. “Well, rabbits apparently multiply like crazy, so there’s probably going to be a lot,” says the woman in the video. Eventually, the man of the family does what many men do in a live birth situation: he begins saying completely inappropriate things. “No wonder she was so fat!” he says in between worrying about the carpet and scolding his son, who is frightening poor Bubbles (telling her she’s a bad bunny). Eventually, he thinks of something useful to do. “Bring her litter box! Bring her litter box!” Yes, that should help! Every mother wants to give birth in a litter box. I’m thinking perhaps there should be a required “birds and bees” talk prior to pet ownership.
2) and 1) Puppies!
Sharing the top 2 spots we have a tie between the nearly unbearable cuteness of the dachshund puppy and the stoicism of the boxer mama who drops a puppy while in the standing position. Both videos contain excellent footage showing the moment of birth!