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Cheetah and Dog Celebrate One Year of Friendship

Cheetah and Dog Celebrate One Year of Friendship


Written by Stephen Messenger

Cats and dogs are usually thought of as obvious enemies — but for one young cheetah and his canine companion, life as friends has never been better.

Last year, visitors to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay were first introduced to an adorable pair of newborns — a tiny cheetah cub named Kasi, and a yellow-lab puppy named Mtani. Although they shared little in common beyond the timing and circumstances of their birth, the bonds of friendship soon proved too strong to be diminished by their differences.

“They absolutely love each other,” said one zoo official.

In fact, 12 months on, the cheetah-puppy relationship seems destined to be a lifelong one yet.

For most of their young lives, Kasi and Mtani have resided together at Busch Gardens, playing and napping together in an unlikely display of cat-dog solidarity, much to the delight of park guests. But as inspiring as Kasi and Mtani’s bond may be, the interspecies pairing was not arranged merely to soften hearts — though they definitely do.

According to zoo officials, cheetahs are highly social animals and are want to form strong companionships with their peers. Absent another young cheetah at the facility, Kasi’s keepers found him a friend in a equally loving yellow labrador — and a year later, the pair is inseparable.

“This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life,” say zoo manager Tim Smith.

Cheetahs in the wild are listed as a threatened species, numbering in just the thousands, though Kasi and Mtani have done wonders to raise awareness of this fact, inspiring donations towards wildlife conservation from folks who might otherwise not think to help.

After all, who wouldn’t be willing to lend a hand to a friend of a friend — and of our best friend at that?

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: screenshot from the above video

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2:56PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Puppy power! To cute!

1:51AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Nice story and happy for them but I don't see how taming a Cheetah is helping it in way to survive...................

1:38PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Go, Florida!

12:42PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

It's wonderful to read. Have fun, Kasi and Mtani and be best friends forever :)
Thanks for interesting article.

2:31PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Great story...both of these precious beings are expressing love to each other and receiving love from each much better can it get?

4:48AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Great post... why cant humans get along as well....

7:18AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Heart warming ....really wonderful!

6:37PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Great article. Next time I'm in Florida, I definitely will try to go by and see this pair. Of course, since they obviously travel, I'll call to make sure they're going to be there. I'd hate to make the trip and be disappointed. ha ha

7:35PM PDT on Aug 5, 2012


5:45PM PDT on May 24, 2012

so cute =)

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