You wouldn’t expect the fastest and most dangerous animals on the planet to be sensitive. But cheetahs are. Sometimes they get so anxious and tense that they can’t even communicate or procreate. That’s why these beautiful cats need help. And the perfect solution came from an unexpected source.
After studies on their behavior, it was obvious they need assistance. So now zookeepers are assigning them their emotional support dogs.
“It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,” said Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and species survival plan coordinator for cheetahs in North America.
“A dominant dog is very helpful because the African animals are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” explains Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “When you pair cheetah cub with a guide dog, the cat looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behavior. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog” – and that helps them be more confident and willing to get it on.
That’s right, cheetahs, learn from the doggies and procreate!