Puppy and cheetah cub are best friends
A cheetah cub that was rejected by its mother has found a true friend in a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. The cub, Ruuxa, was born without litter mates, and it's common for cheetah parents to abandon the lone offspring in such situations.
Realizing the little cat needed somebody to hang out with, keepers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park found her a new companion. Raina, the pup selected for the task, is also a baby.
When they were first paired up, people weren't sure how long the relationship would last, or whether or not they would be friends as they grew.
Since being paired up, though, the two have been inseparable, sleeping, playing and exploring with each other around the clock. If you think they're cute now, check them out when they were first paired together at six and seven weeks old.
They are both just under four months old now, and they are training and growing fast. In addition to being a pal to wrestle with, Raina is helping Ruuxa keep her anxieties under control when encountering new people and places.
They are both part of the park's ambassador program. Larissa Comb, a senior animal trainer at the park, told KHOU.com that, "Both animals are doing great, progressing very fast, and Ruuxa's confidence is incredible for his age."
Busch Gardens Tampa zoo manager Tim Smith told People that cheetahs and dogs are the perfect animals to pair up because, "They both have similar behavioral patterns. They find each other socially very similar in the way that they interact with one another."
Take a peek at one of their incredibly cute training sessions:
Find more cute pictures in the slideshow below
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