When this cheetah needed a friend, he found it in the form of a hound dog named Raina.
The cheetah Ruuxa was just a few months old when staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park noticed that his front legs were unusually bowed.
It turned out that Ruuxa suffered from a genetic condition that affected the growth of his front limbs, and needed surgery to correct the problem. Since the vets had never seen a cheetah with this condition, no one knew exactly how the procedure would turn out. Luckily through it all, Ruuxa had his faithful friend by his side — his hound dog named Raina.
According to Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Ruuxa and Raina were paired together at an early age.
“The point of bonding them from this very young age was that they would have a relationship that would be more like siblings than like friends. That they would have had each other in their lives from their earliest memories and be that bonded. It has worked exactly as we dreamed it would.”
Through both the procedure and recovery, Raina stayed right by his side, refusing to be separated from him for more than 15 minutes. She is still there today — since his recovery she just has to run faster to try and keep up with him.
Check out this video of them at Shiley’s Cheetah Run at the San Diego Zoo.
Does your pet have an unusual friend? Tell us below!
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