Monday, February 25, 2013

Unlikely Friendships

I think everyone's day could use more adorable animal pictures, and today I am going to do just that. My coworker offhandedly mentioned that the San Diego zoo was raising cheetahs and puppies together. I immediately jumped on Google Images to find pictures of this impossibly cute combination. Zoos have been raising them together for years, resulting in adorable friendships. The dogs have a calming effect on the cheetahs, and allow them to more easily travel and act as ambassadors for the zoo. Mostly, it's the cutest thing I have ever seen. Here are some pictures from the San Diego zoo, but also other zoos who have run the same program.

Max the 13-week Labrador mix gives Savannah the cheetah cub a wet kiss on her nose as they play together at Cincinnati Zoo in America. The zoo’s Cat Ambassador Programme sees that all their cheetahs have dog companions. Spokesperson Tiffany Barnes explains the idea behind the programme: In Africa, Anatolian Shepherd dogs are being given to farmers to live with their live stock. This breed of dog is unique in that it devotes itself fully to whatever it is raised with, so the pups are given to the farmers at a young age. Cheetahs, being skittish animals, will do as they typically do and hunt the farmers live stock. But, when they hear the dog barking they will run away, which saves the farmer from having to shoot the cheetah. The zoo says Savannah and Max will always live together in the Cheetah Encounter; they are great friends and will help to spread the message of cheetah conservation and saving endangered animals.Picture: Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo
Cutest thing in the entire world? I think yes. You can find more information on the San Diego Zoo website

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