Ruuxa, a 7-week-old cheetah cub and Raina, an 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback pup have been bonding quite nicely at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Zookeepers say the baby feline and baby canine are spending time together at the Animal Care Center and will hopefully become boon companions, as other cheetah and dog duos have been at the Zoo, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The zoo has paired cheetahs and dogs for more than 30 years, according to a report from NBC Los Angeles.
Ruuxa was abandoned by his mother as he was the lone cub born to her; a common behavior among Cheetah moms who bare just one, as the mothers do not believe a single cub can survive in the wild. A female cheetah can birth up to nine cubs.
Despite being considered the fastest running land animal, cheetahs are often preyed upon by lions and hyenas, writes the Times.
But zookeepers say Raina’s body language calms Ruuxa and confidently lets him know he has nothing to fear in his safe park surroundings.
The zoo currently hosts four cheetahs, all of which participate daily at 3:30 pm in the Cheetah Run.
Cheetahs are predominantly found in Africa but also throughout parts of Iran. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are native to South Africa, where they were originally bred in the early 1900s.