I can’t help but smile every time I see one of the cheetah and dog pairs at the San Diego Zoo! It’s a bit of a surprise to most of the visitors who come up beside me and look into the Animal Ambassador Area. “Wait, is that a dog in there with that cheetah?” Yes it is, and they’re best friends! The first pairing at the Zoo was back in 1981, when a 3 month old male cheetah named Arusha was paired with Anna, a female Golden Retriever. The dog not only provides companionship, but also helps the cheetah to feel confident and calm in new situations and around the public, following the cues of the dog who is naturally social. While I watch Bakka, the male cheetah, with his pal Miley, the female husky mix, it’s heartwarming to see they’re so close, often grooming each other. They’re inseparable. Ayana, the female cheetah, and her buddy Honey, the labrador retriever are another sweet pair. They’re both just 2 years old and already have formed a wonderful bond. Both pairs make appearances at Backstage Pass, giving visitors a chance to see them up close and learn more about the amazing and beautiful cheetah. These unlikely pairs are living proof that even in the animal world, there’s just nothing like having the support of a good friend!
Keywords:Animals Ambassadors, Cheetah, Cheetah and Dog Pair, Dog, Friends, Friendship, Pals, San Diego Zoo