A dog and a cheetah who became friends for life
Female cheetahs usually give birth to 3 to 5 kittens in one brood, but there can be up to nine babies. At the San Diego zoo, the cheetah named Rooks was the only kitten in its brood. Female cheetahs often abandon the only kitten of the brood. The instinct tells them that one baby will not survive in the wild alone.
So when mom left Rooks, the zoo staff intervened in this situation. They wanted to give the baby a friend because it had no brothers or sisters. Their choice was the 8 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Raina. The zoo wanted Raina and Rooks to live together all the time, because Raina with the help of the body language was always be able to calm Rooks, if it faced with an unfamiliar situation. The babies met, sniffed each other for a long time, and then became friends. A few hours later, the zoo workers watched as these animals frolic and fool around with each other.
Soon, the zookeepers realized that the little front legs of the baby cheetah are not developing as they should. Doctors diagnosed Rooks with contra-dysplasia. This is a hereditary disease characterized by disorders of the skeleton, which is associated with changes in the normal process of ossification of cartilage and insufficient or excessive bone formation. The front legs of the cheetah were bent in the opposite direction. Rooks could up stand on its legs and the vets had to perform a surgery on the animal. Throughout the rehabilitation, Raina did not leave Rooks for a single minute and it was thanks to its support that the little Cheetah did not even try to remove the bandages.
Fortunately, the treatment was successful and now friends can frolic together again. Thanks to Raina, Rooks is now completely healthy and can compete with any cheetah in terms of running speed. Even after some time has passed and the animals grew up, they are still inseparable. The zoo’s administration sincerely hopes that the relationship of these loyal friends will never go bad and they will continue to make others happy with their beautiful duo.