Forrest and Jenny, Thelma and Louise, Blair Waldorf and Serena Vanderwoodsen. When you think about great friendships, these are just a few that come immediately come to mind, but what about Dog and Cheetah? While they sound like an unlikely pairing, The Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio has been adding Lab pups to their super pupular cheetah exhibit, with great success!
The zoo introduces the two unlikely friends when they are cubs and pups, so that they can grow up together like siblings.
The pups are great at providing comfort to the Cheetahs as they grow, as well as instilling a confidence in them that the human zookeepers are unable to provide.
Earlier in the year when a Cheetah named Keyara had to have surgery, her best pup friend Coby was there afterwards, to help and provide comfort in the way only a BFF can.
The Columbus Zoo is not the first to use pooches and Cheetahs together. This actually happens all the time in Africa, where Anatolian Shepherds are keeping the big cats safe every day. It used to be common for African farmers to shoot or trap Cheetahs to keep them from eating their livestock. The Anatolian Shepherd is a big dog, and scares the cats away before any harm can come to them. This program was first put into effect by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and has helped grow the Cheetah population from 2,500 to 4,000!
While you probably don’t want to bring a Cheetah home to befriend your own pup, Zoo’s across the nation are adding pups to their Cheetah habitats, so be sure to head over to your local zoo to catch the friends in action.