Believe It or Not!
An unlikely duo has been paired up in Tampa Bay, Florida’s Busch Gardens and park animal experts expect the friendship to last a lifetime. It’s been one year since Kasi the Cheetah and Mtani the Yellow Labrador Retriever first met and became best-friends. The park is now celebrating their one year anniversary. (Check out the video above)
At first, the pair only spent supervised play time together to give the animals a safe opportunity to interact and bond. Park experts say that dogs and cheetahs are actually very similar in their social interactions and is it’s not uncommon to pair them up in a zoological environment. Cheetahs in captivity don’t really get along well with each other and would much rather hang out with their canine friends because in the wild they’re usually solitary anyways.
Cheetahs are said to be the most easily tamed of the large cats and are more dog-like so It’s not surprising to see an inter-species relationship like this with so many other publicized “couples” out there. The reason dogs and cheetahs work so well together is because the dogs tend to calm and relax the cheetah in situations where a wild animal may get really nervous. Believe it or not, Zoos all over the world have been pairing up Canines with Dogs for decades!
Park guests can see Kasi and Mtani daily at Cheetah Run, where they spend a portion of each day playing together, training with their keepers and exercising with the habitat’s lure system which encourages them to run.