Puppy, cheetah cub at San Diego Zoo become best friends
When a young cheetah cub was without a buddy, zoo keepers in San Diego thought "man's best friend" could also befriend an oversized feline -- and they were right.
XETV reports the 6-week-old cub named Ruuxa is getting along very well with a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy named Raina.
Cheetahs are usually born in litters of three to five, but Ruuxa was born alone. KNSD reports that this cheetah cub was abandoned by his mother and will have to be raised by humans at the zoo.
The zoo says that they love to play together and take naps together, noting that the dog has a calming effect for the cheetah.
The San Diego Zoo scheme to pair canine and feline might sound familiar because more than a year ago, the staff at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay also paired a cheetah and a dog -- in that case, a yellow labrador.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, keepers found the two animals complement each other effectively, learning social cues and developing an understanding of the environment.
"They both have similar behavioral patterns. They find each other socially very similar in the way they interact with one another. So they have learned through a year's time now how a cheetah and a dog can establish a relationship just like any other animal," Attractions Magazine says.