A cheetah and dog may look like an odd pair cuddling in the grass together. However, cheetah Kumbali and yellow Labrador Kago have been besties for months.
When Kumbali was two weeks old, animal caretakers at the Metro Richmond Zoo noticed his mother Khari, was not producing enough milk for her cubs.
Zoo staff decided to hand-raise the cub to ensure his health and growth.
The staff couldn’t reintroduce Kumbali to his family because they would most likely consider him to be a threat.
Kumbali was in need of a companion so the zoo staff contacted local rescues and shelters.
Some of them wanted to help, but didn’t have any puppies.
The Art of Paws was excited and willing to help MRZ.
Kumbali and Kago were slowing introduced on July 16th, 2015.
They quickly became pals spending their summer days running and playing.
If Kumbali becomes an ambassador animal (an animal who represents his species for the benefit and encouragement of its conservation) then Kumbali and Kago will live out their lives together.
The Zoo will continue to provide updates on their future together.
In the meantime, Kumbali and Kago can be seen at the Metro Richmond Zoo.