Zoos Around The World Are Raising Cheetah Kittens With Puppy Companions. This Is Why...
October 24, 2016
Zoos around the world are discovering that raising puppies and cheetah kittens together helps the big cats deal with excess energy, learn social cues, and combat stress.
Built for flight rather than fight, cheetahs are naturally ready to leap into action with incredible bursts of speed. In a zoo setting, that energy has nowhere to go.
So in recent years, inspired by success at the San Diego Zoo, a number of other zoos have begun raising puppies and cheetah kittens together to help combat the big cats’ stress and focus their wild energy.
It's worked beautifully for Kumbali and Kago, a yellow lab and cheetah duo at the Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia, who fast became like brothers seemingly unaware of the typical dog-chases-cat relationship.
The combination works because the chosen dogs, usually rescue mutts but sometimes pure labradors or shepherds, are a calming influence and are tolerant of kitty play — including tooth and claw.
Dogs are also great teachers, offering up social cues the cheetahs need to thrive and would normally get from their mother and siblings.
Watch the video of Kumbali and Kago here:
(h/t) National Geographic
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