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Cincinnati Zoo adopts puppy companion for baby cheetah Kris

Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 17:47:03-04

CINCINNATI — Lonely cheetah cub Kris will soon have a lifelong best friend, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden announced Thursday on Twitter. He’s not quite the kind of companion she’d find in the wild — he’s a little too tail-waggy for that.

But pairing baby cheetahs and puppies, like the scruffy, tawny-colored pup the zoo picked for Kris, is a time-tested recipe for success. Dogs can do for lone cheetahs what humans just can’t: Teach them how to be animals.

The puppy, who hasn’t been named yet, “will be a warm body to Kris to snuggle with & he will be able to teach her social lessons through play!” the zoo wrote in a tweet.

Kris, born July 7 in Clermont County, was the only survivor of her litter. Her mother, Neena, couldn’t produce enough milk to feed her, so the zoo’s neonate team took over to keep her healthy. They’ve been aided in the effort by another dog: Blakely the Australian shepherd, who came out of retirement to resume his longtime role as animal nanny to zoo babies who can’t be raised by their parents.

Kris and her new best friend can’t be introduced just yet, according to the zoo, but they’ll start getting to know each other after a short quarantine period.