[Click to embiggen.]
Monday, April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the first time park guests got to see [male cheetah Kasi] and [female yellow Labrador Mtani] start to strike up a friendship that the park's animal experts expect to last a lifetime. Now, a year later, they live together full time at the park's Cheetah Run habitat and even travel together to schools, events and television studios, helping the park's education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts. (Link)The friendship was developed slowly and safely under the supervision of park staff. Pairing dogs with cheetahs (and finding other domestic animal pairings that work, e.g. a gorilla and a rabbit) is an approach that provides captive animals companionship without removing companion animals from natural habitats and without offering breeding opportunities (thus creating more captive animals).
[H/T to @bekitty.]