Here’s some cheetah cub and puppy goodness to bless your timeline. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden recently introduced a two-month-old cheetah cub named Rozi (pronounced Rosie) and a three-month-old shelter pup named Daisy. Solitary cheetah cubs need friends to ease their anxiety, and puppies are the perfect fix.
In the video below, they play and check each other out. Daisy barks and Rozi chirps. While they don’t become fast friends, exactly, it’s a step in the important process of turning them into companions. Keepers will continue to introduce them slowly until their bond becomes strong.
Rozi’s mother wasn’t caring for her at the Wildlife Safari in Oregon, which can happen when a cheetah mom only has one cub instead of multiple. So Rozi was transferred and is being hand-raised in Cincinnati. While humans can supply her with food and toys, cheetahs need socialization. And that’s where a companion dog comes in! Daisy will act as a sibling, tussling and snuggling together for life.
The Cincinnati Zoo is only one of the wildlife facilities that successfully pairs cheetah cubs and puppies. You can also see these friendships in person at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Dallas Zoo, and at least a few others. Pairing baby cheetahs with puppies is happening more often as the benefits become obvious. Already at home in Cincinnati are cheetah Kris and dog Remus, who have been friends since they were young and do almost everything together.
Apparently we’ve been saying it wrong all along, dogs are actually cheetah’s best friend.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.