They are the newest — and cutest — set of friends at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Ruuxa, a six-week-old cheetah club and Raina, a seven-week-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. They just met and are already inseparable.
"They definitely like to play, and when they take naps together, they often will snuggle up together for that warmth and closeness," Susie Ekard, animal training manager at the park, said in a statement. Ruuxa was rejected by his mother, which often happens to cheetahs that are born solo, since their chance of survival in the wild is miniscule. The park decided to make him an animal ambassador, and quickly found a friend for him: Raina. The pair will be raised together, and serve as lifelong companions for each other.
There are four cheetah ambassadors at the park, and each one was paired with a domestic dog early in order to learn social cues.