Jun 10, 2014 8:14 PM by Debbie Cobb
A 6-week-old cheetah cub at the Safari Park is spending lots of time with his new dog companion. The young cheetah, Ruuxa, was chosen to be raised as an animal ambassador at the Safari Park after he was rejected by his mother.
Cheetahs are usually born in litters of three to five cubs; when a singleton is born, the mother often rejects the cub.
The cheetah cub and puppy, a 7-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy named Raina, are being introduced by animal care staff at the Safari Park. The puppy will be raised with the cheetah and serve as his lifelong companion.
Safari Park cheetahs selected for training as ambassadors are paired early in life with a domestic dog. As the two companions grow up together, the dog's body language will communicate to the cheetah that there's nothing to fear in new or public surroundings, which relaxes and calms the cheetah. The Safari Park has four cheetah ambassadors.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global.
2 days ago