NewsDepth Petting Zoo: Meet the Dog and Cheetah That Are Best Friends

The Metro Richmond Zoo has helped a unique and adorable companionship between a cheetah cub and puppy come about.

THEY'RE CUTE AND CUDDLY- JUST ALL OUT ADORABLE... KUMBALI AND HIS BEST PUPPY FRIEND KAGO- HAVE GOT EVERYONE WATCHING...
THEY'VE EVEN BROUGHT OUT THE CHEETAH MOMS- ALL DECKED OUT IN CHEETAH GEAR...
THE GROUP OF FAITHFUL CHEETAH FANS WHO STOP BY EVERY TWO WEEKS!
{SOT:LINDA COOPER/CHEETAH MOMS}
"See, when we're not here, we're glued to the cheetah cam."
BLANCH CASTELOW  |  CHEETAH MOMS  {SOT: BLANCH CASTELOW /CHEETAH MOMS}
"I would be willing to let Kumbali climb my leg... that's standing on the outside talking... he's such a sweet innocent looking face. "
BUT DON'T LET THE CUTENESS FOOL YOU... THOSE CLAWS ARE RAZOR SHARP... BUT THEY DON'T SEEM TO BOTHER HIS COMPANION..
"Here at the Metro Richmond Zoo, cheetah cub Kumbali and Labrador pup Kago, became fast friends after Kumbali had to be hand fed because his mother wasn't producing enough milk."
{SOT:JIM ANDELIN/METRO RICHMOND ZOO}
"You know, when we pulled Kumbali, he was just two weeks old.. he was just a little guy and we had to keep him in an incubator to regulate his body temperature and feed him every two hours throughout the night."
UNLIKE OTHER BIG CATS- CHEETAH ARE MORE PRONE TO FLEE FROM SOMETHING RATHER THAN FIGHT... AND BECAUSE KUMBALI COULD NOT BE REINTRODUCED TO HIS FAMILY-  KAGO WAS BROUGHT IN- AND BECAME THE PERFECT COMPANION...
"they've picked up each other's traits. they're never separate... they'll explore at different times by themselves, but never with the other too far away."
PAIRING PUPPIES AND CHEETAH CUBS IS A PRACTICE THAT'S GONE ON OVER 30 YEARS...
TIME WILL TELL WHETHER THE PAIR WILL STAY TOGETHER AS THEY GET OLDER...
BUT FOR NOW- ZOO VISITORS CAN'T SEEM TO GET ENOUGH...
{SOT:TAMERA WILKINS HARRIS/ VISITOR}
"Oh my gosh, it's amazing. I just can't believe we have an opportunity to have an animal like this in the Richmond region, that we have a chance to get up close and personal with. It's awesome!"

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