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A Safari Park cheetah cub and pup become besties


By Neda Iranpour

San Diego - A 6-week-old cheetah cub is spending time with his new dog friend, preparing to be a San Diego Zoo Safari park ambassador.

The young cheetah named Ruuxa was rejected by his mother so he had to be hand raised by zookeepers. Now a 7-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is the cub's lifelong buddy.
Since the Cheetah was born alone they instantly gave him a companion.

The Animal Training Manager with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Susie Ekard, said, “when they do take naps they'll very often snuggle together to get that warmth and that closeness but they definitely play together.”

Zookeepers said the dogs are very therapeutic to cheetahs. Their body language will let the cheetah know there's nothing to fear, keeping the cat calm.

Ruuxa will likely join the Safari Park's four other cheetah ambassadors, who were all raised to participate in the park's Cheetah Run Experience.  

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