The San Diego Zoo Safari Park put a baby cheetah and a puppy together, and the scene on camera is about as adorable as you might expect.
A 6-week-old cheetah cub named Ruuxa arrived in the care of the zoo after his mother rejected him. According to the zoo's blog, Ruuxa was born alone instead of as part of a litter, which is usually three to five cubs. In lieu of his mom, the baby cheetah had to be hand-raised by keepers.
Now with the San Diego Zoo, the cub will be raised with a 7-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy named Raina.
"Because the cheetah was by himself and did not have any siblings we wanted him to have a companion immediately," animal training manager Susie Ekard said in the blog post. "They definitely like to play, and when they take naps together, they often will snuggle up together for that warmth and closeness."
The pair's bond is evident in a video the zoo posted on its YouTube channel. The cub and puppy casually roll around together, sneaking in a quick kiss or sniff in the process.
But the kinship between the two animals goes beyond cute videos. Conservation groups are using dogs in Africa to keep cheetahs from becoming an even more extinct species. The organizations front the cost, as well, in order to keep the cheetahs from running into dangerous situations in which farmers shoot them.
- Living Nature