While cheetahs might be quite the big cats and the fastest animal on the Earth to add to that, actually, they are very sensitive beings. They get so anxious; they don’t know how to socialize with each other and get too stressed to procreate. That’s why they need the help as they’re becoming extinct – and the solution came with the most unexpected of animal friendships.
Seeing that cheetahs need some assistance, for years now zookeepers have been assigning these animals their very own… emotional support dogs. “It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,” said Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and species survival plan coordinator for cheetahs in North America.
“A dominant dog is very helpful because the African animals are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” explains Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “When you pair cheetah cub with a guide dog, the cat looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behavior. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the cheetah support dog” – and that helps them be more confident and willing to get it on.
That’s right, cheetahs, learn from the doggies and procreate!