Who says dogs and cats can't be besties? Puppy-cheetah friendships are more common than you might think—and they make the pawfect pair.
Take Rozi and Daisy, the newest (and cutest) duo to roam The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The popular Ohio zoo announced that one of their new cheetah cubs, Rozi, would be getting her own canine companion as she's raised in captivity. Adopted from the Animal Rescue Fund, Inc., the lab pup named Daisy will be the cat's furry BFF as she grows up.
Rozi was a single cub, which means that her mom wouldn't be able to produce enough milk for her to survive. That's why her care team at the zoo is stepping in to hand-rear the big cat. "The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP) identified Cincinnati Zoo as the best place for the cub to be raised," the zoo said in a statement. She will eventually join the Cat Ambassador Program (CAP) and participate in the Zoo's Cheetah Encounter.
While the keepers are giving Rozi plenty of TLC, they're bringing in Daisy as her full-time companion. "Canine companionship provides play and socialization opportunities that humans cannot give the cub," the zoo explains. Not only do dogs provide great company, but they are positive influences on their partners-in-cute. Big cats can be easily agitated, especially in captivity. Many zoos have found success with cheetah-puppy partnerships in combating this wild energy. By modeling calm behavior and teaching social cues, puppies equip their feline friends with useful skills for thriving in the animal world. They're also extremely tolerant of typical kitten behaviors, like tooth and claw play. It just goes to show that anyone can benefit from some puppy love!
Kris and Remus were the first mixed-species match of this kind at the Cincinnati Zoo, inspired by the success of puppy-cheetah pairings at the San Diego Zoo. Photos and videos of Kris and Remus over the years document the special bond that can be shared by these unlikely pals.
Sometimes the most unexpected of companions make the best of friends. Follow along on the Cincinnati Zoo's Instagram page to see more footage of Daisy and Rozi as they grow up together. We can't wait to see these future BFFs in action!
Do you think your dog would be friends with a big cat? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.
READ MORE: 15 Cat Breeds That Get Along With Dogs
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