The urge to protect is a natural feeling between members of the same family, regardless of the animal species concerned. But for some reason, the idea of protection is more associated with some species than others. There are a number of animals that we identify with the idea of protection for various reasons. Here, you can find out what they are and why.
The symbolism of the turtle in relation to protection has a clear origin: its shell. The shell is where the turtle protects itself from external threats, its refuge from danger. Hence the turtle has always been linked to this idea, since any living being longs to have a safe space in which to feel absolutely calm and secure.
Anyone who has ever had a dog needs no explanation as to why this animal is linked to the concept of protection. Dogs are loyal to their owners and very territorial, so they understand, thanks to their own instincts, without anyone teaching them, that among their "duties" is to keep their human family safe. A dog is the best of company, but also the best defense against intruders. They do not hesitate to risk their physical safety to protect their own.
You may be surprised to find the cat among the animals that symbolize protection, because in modern times its importance in this regard is not as great as it used to be. But in the past, when the economy was almost entirely dependent on agriculture, mouse infestations were a threat that could wipe out a family's livelihood. Cats were responsible for keeping rodents at bay, thus protecting the crops. Hence the cat's symbolism.
A much more fearsome feline such as the lion could not be forgotten on this list of animals that symbolize protection. The lion, contrary to what we may think, is not as responsible for hunting as the lioness. Their main function is to keep their own safe. Hence this purpose has made the lion one of the most recognizable symbols of protection.
The crocodile is primarily a symbol of maternal protection. The reason is that, despite how fearsome these animals are, when they are newborns, they are very vulnerable and can be victims of other predators' attacks. The mother takes on the responsibility of keeping the young safe and alive during that initial period in when they are not yet independent, defending them from their enemies.
The eagle especially symbolizes spiritual protection. Its majestic flight as it looks down from the horizon is the closest thing to an eternal watcher of the heavens, attentively observing everything that happens at its feet. And its nearness to heaven gives it a position closer to the gods. Thus, both of these qualities give the eagle a symbolism that reflects the gods' care for the world from the spiritual realm.
Edited by Melissa K.