Cheetah cub and puppy meet at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

cheetah cubA cheetah cub is making friends with an odd companion after being rejected by his mother. The cheetah cub is just 6 weeks old and has been named Ruuxa.

After being rejected by his mother he was removed for hand rearing. Keepers have decided that that he will be raised an animal ambassador to help teach people more about vulnerable species. He will be joining the zoo’s team of four cheetah ambassadors. These cheetahs take part in the cheetah run experience where they go for a run at their high speeds. As cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animals that sure is fast.

Since Ruuxa was a single cub mum rejected him. Generally a cheetah would have three to five cubs in their litter. When a smaller number is born there is a very minimal chance that any of the cubs will survive. As such the mother does not bother to expend her energy on raising the cub. Animal training manager, Susie Ekard said, ‘Because the cheetah was by himself and did not have any siblings we wanted him to have a companion immediately.’

Keepers decided that Ruxxa needed a friend and a dog was the perfect choice. All four of the zoo’s cheetahs were raised with dog friends. The dog’s body language makes the cheetah feel at ease when in new surroundings. They become calm and relaxed because they can see that the dog is not fearful.

Ruxxa’s friend is known as Raina who is a Rhodesian ridgeback. The little puppy is just 7 weeks old and is beginning her adventure as the lifelong companion of Ruxxa. Animal care staff are slowly introducing the pair. It appears thast the friendship is going well with Ekard adding that ‘They definitely like to play, and when they take naps together, they often will snuggle up together for that warmth and closeness.’

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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