Young cheetah and a puppy have become best friends at Metro Richmond Zoo.

Lonely Baby Cheetah and Puppy Form Unspeakably Cute Friendship (Video)

Lonely Baby Cheetah and Puppy Form Unspeakably Cute Friendship (Video)

Slate in motion.
Oct. 6 2015 6:29 PM

A Lonely Baby Cheetah and His New Puppy

Meet Kumbali and Kago, the animal friends to rule them all.  

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Baby cheetah, plus puppy.

Courtesy of the Metro Richmond Zoo

This unspeakably cute video tells the story of Kumbali and Kago.

Kumbali is a young male cheetah who was born at the Metro Richmond Zoo. Kago is a male puppy. Each one provides just what the other one needs: an activity partner. A social foil. A BFF.

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Kumbali had gotten off to a rough start. His mother hadn’t been feeding him properly, and he was worryingly underweight. After zookeepers bottle-fed him back to health, they turned their attention to his next most important need. Male cheetahs like Kumbali are social creatures, and Kumbali needed a friend. He also needed something of a life coach.

Cheetahs, as fast as they may be, tend to be fearful and anxious in new situations. Who better to provide chill-out lessons than a happy-go-lucky puppy like Kago? Cheetah/dog relationships—which aren’t something you’re likely to find in the wild—have been successfully used before in captivity.

The unlikely pair’s first meeting began with a nervous Kumbali bap-bap-bapping Kago on the head, followed in short order by the discovery of an important mutual interest: fun. The two are now inseparable friends. They live together at the zoo, happily bouncing off each other, cuddling, and chasing each other in mad circles when they’re not busy getting into other mischief, as you can see in the heart-melting video above. Watch at your own risk.