No mama? No problem.
An adorable 6-week-old cheetah cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is getting a little help navigating the outside world from a puppy. The zoo has paired the cheetah with the 7-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, Raina. So essentially Raina is the cub’s BFF, or his lifelong companion since the cub has no mother.
The cheetah, Ruuxa, was born alone; cheetahs are usually born in litters of three to five cubs, so when a singleton is born, the mother often rejects the cub.
Enter puppy Raina. Zoo officials said the two like to play, take naps together and will often snuggle up together for warmth and bonding.
Safari Park officials said dogs’ body language communicate to the cubs that there’s nothing to fear in the new public surroundings.
Four cheetahs born alone rely on the Safari Park's "animal ambassador" program that pairs them with dogs.