Cheetah Cuddles Man

Dolph Volker wants to show people just how loving, interactive, and affectionate some cheetahs can be.

“This is Eden, the most adorable, nicest, most friendly cheetah I know.”

It took just days for Eden to warm up to Dolph, and he says he now can trust her completely. The cheetah treats Dolph like family: cuddling, grooming, and nibbling Dolph.

“It still hurt and I got slightly bloodied on my face, lips, chin and ears, but it’s what I allowed to happen in order to bond with her.”

He also says he has spent 10 nights sleeping with Eden and another cheetah, simply bringing his pillow and blanket into their enclosure.

A self-described animal advocate with a zoology degree, Dolph has served as a volunteer keeper at the South African Cheetah Experience, where he met Eden. He hopes people will better understand the nuanced personalities and characteristics of these big cats.

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