It may be an unlikely friendship, but it's made visitors to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park very happy!
At just 7 and 8 weeks old respectively, Ruuxa, a baby cheetah, and Raina, a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, became the best of buds when zoo-keepers paired them together after Ruuxa's mom rejected him.
Born without siblings, the cheetah needed a companion in order to calm his wild nature and relinquish any fear of his public surroundings.
“It was our plan all along that he would just know Raina from his earliest memories, take it in stride, and hopefully feel more like she’s a sibling," animal training manager **Janet Rose-Hinostroza told Today.com.
"He recognizes her as another animal and recognizes her as a playmate. He seeks out playing with that dog, which is so funny," she continued.
Janet also added that despite Ruuxa's eventual growth spirt, Raina will always be the dominant animal in the relationship. "The dog is always [assuming] the role of the older sibling."
Watch the duo play and cuddle with each other below!
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