Hand Raising a Cheetah Cub

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The zoo keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have had their hands full raising a little cheetah cub named Siri.

Siri was born on May 21 this year to experienced mother Halla. But usually, cheetahs are born in litters of three to five cubs. When a single cub is born, mother cheetahs generally reject the cub since survival rates for a single cub are low in the wild.

Zoo keeper Linda Matthews said: “We were on alert when we knew there was only one cub, and after 24hrs based on what we were seeing, we intervened to give Siri the best chance of survival.”

Bottle feeding a cheetah cub.

A keeper bottle feeds Siri. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For the first six weeks, keepers provided 24/7 care for the cub.

Cheetah cub and puppy

Siri and Iris the puppy interact. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

At eight weeks, they introduced a 7-week-old retriever cross mastiff puppy named Iris as a companion. This will help Siri develop her animal instincts and social interaction.

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Learn more about cheetahs in our cheetah facts article.

Zoo Pals: A Gorilla and a Rabbit

Gorilla and rabbit

Zoo pals: Samantha the gorilla and Panda the bunny. Photo by: Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News

What do you get when you pair an elderly zoo gorilla with a rabbit? At the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania, you get a friendship.

Samantha, a 47 year-old western lowland gorilla, was in need of companionship after her “roommate” Rudy, a male gorilla, died in 2005. Zoo keepers decided she was too frail and old to have another gorilla companion, so they introduced her to Panda, a Dutch rabbit.

The two unlikely friends hit it off. Samantha gently pets Panda, and they share food.

According to zoo director Cindy Kreider, “To have something sharing their space that they can observe and interact with is always going to be beneficial.”

For more information, see:
Seattle Pi
GoErie.com

Baby Cheetah and Puppy Become Pals

cheetahpuppy

Starting today guests at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida will get to see an unlikely pair – a cheetah cub and a yellow Labrador puppy. The 8-week-old cheetah was taken in last month because his mother was unable to care for him. Last week the animal care team decided on the 16-week-old puppy as a companion. The two will live together in Jambo Junction, a part of the Nairobi area of the park.

The park has opened a poll on their Facebook page to allow voting on what to the name the pair. Voting ends on Monday, April 18.

UPDATE: The cheetah cub has been named Kasi, which is Swahili for “one with speed.”

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Unlikely Animal Friends 2

Polar bear and dog play

Polar bear and husky play (photo credit © courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

Last year, National Geographic Channel aired a program about unlikely animal friends.  Premiering Friday, January 7, 2011 at 9pm EST is a second installment of bizarre animal pairs: Unlikely Animal Friends 2.

The one-hour special takes a look at friendships between a sheep and an elephant, a goat and two dogs,  huskies and polar bears, a leopard and a golden retriever, and a lion, tiger and dog.

Watch a sneak peak here about an orphaned elephant calf befriending a sheep:

Unlikely Animal Friends

Orangutan and dog

Many of you may be familiar with the story of Christian the lion, a YouTube sensation (and if you’re not, you really should see it). This Saturday, September 26 at 8pm ET/PT, the National Geographic Channel is showcasing several heartwarming stories about animal bonds, including the tale of Christian the lion, in its program, Unlikely Animal Friends.

The one-hour special will also feature an orangutan and a hound dog, a tortoise and a hippo, a cat and a crow, an elephant and a dog, and more.

Catch a sneak peak here:

For more info, see NationalGeographic.com