Cheetahs Are The Most Endangered Wild Cat, But Watch What Dogs Are Doing To Save Them!Ashley Maisano
Cheetahs may be the fastest animals on Earth, but they are also the most endangered wild cat. But a new partnership between farmers and conservationists is become very successful in Africa and also in some zoos across America. One of them is the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. They have an exhibit that is filled with Labrador retrievers, but they aren’t the only animal in there. They share it with cheetahs; and, believe it or not, the cheetahs and dogs get along like siblings.
“If you place the puppy with the cubs, then pretty soon the cubs don’t realize – they think it’s their brother, their sister,” Suzi Rapp, who runs the zoo’s animal programs, told CBS News. “What I’ve learned is that we want our cheetahs to have all the confidence in the world. And we know we can’t give it to them, but we know the dogs can.”
In addition to confidence, the dogs also offer comfort. When one of their cheetahs needed leg surgery, a lab named Coby helped her get through the tough time. This strong bond between cat and dog in zoos across the country is a way to promote the life-saving role dogs play for cheetahs in the wild.
There is actually a dog in Africa that is saving cheetahs: the Anatolian Shepherd. They act as livestock guard dogs for farmers and are used to scare cheetahs off the farmers’ land, as opposed to trapping or shooting them. This solution has helped grow the cheetah population in Namibia from 2,500 to nearly 4,000.
Aside from the Columbus Zoo, dogs and cheetahs also share exhibits at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Metro Richmond Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo. Now, if you ever see dogs and cheetahs cohabitating, you’ll know the backstory and the amazing significance of their friendship.