Last year, Busch Gardens Tampa took in an orphaned one week-old male cheetah cub and paired him with a 9 -week-old female yellow Labrador puppy start to strike up a friendship that the park’s animal experts expect to last a lifetime. The pair — later named Kasi and Mtani by park fans via a Facebook poll — spent only supervised play times together at first.
Kasi’s first birthday was within the last month! Mtani (labrador) is going to be a companion with Kasi for the rest of their lives. It’s amazing to see them playing together.
Look at this beautiful now and then shot!
Park guest can see Kasi and Mtani daily at Cheetah Run, where they spend a portion of each day playing together on the habitat, training with their keepers and exercising with the habitat’s lure system, designed to encourage the animals to do what cheetahs (and Mtani, too!) do best: run and chase.
Although this is Busch Gardens’ first cub-and-puppy combo, it is not uncommon in the zoological community for a single cheetah to be raised with a canine companion.
“Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” said Tim Smith, a zoo manager who works with the cheetah team daily. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life.”