An Ohio zoo has given 10-week-old cheetah cub, Emmett, an interesting new friend.
Columbus zoo paired the new arrival with 7-week-old puppy Cullen, and the two will be raised as brothers.
Emmett caught pneumonia shortly after being born and was hand-reared for several weeks.
The cheetah chose Cullen as his ‘companion puppy’ when he was given to the zoo by conservation project The Wilds.
The puppy will help Emmett to be more confident and calm, as cheetahs are naturally skittish animals.
Emmett needs to be confident and calm – the zoo plans to use him as an ambassador for cheetahs in the wild.
Columbus zoo plan for the cheetah to travel around the country with Wildlife Advocate Jungle Jack Hanna.
Suzi Rapp, the zoo’s Animal Programs Director, explained this unorthodox pairing to CBS News: If you place the puppy with the cubs, then pretty soon the cubs don’t realize — they think it’s their brother, their sister”.
What I’ve learned is that we want our cheetahs to have all the confidence in the world, she said. And we know we can’t give it to them, but we know the dogs can.
Dogs have been used in the past to help cheetah conservation – the San Diego Zoo pioneered the technique in the 1980s.
Further afield, in Namibia, a dog called the Anatolian Shepherd guards cheetahs from farmers who would otherwise kill them.
News Source TelegraphNews