Cheetahs have adorned the courts of kings, queens, and emperors, and their amazing grace and beauty still captive the world today.
Cheetahs selected to be trained as Zoo and Safari Park ambassadors are paired with a domestic dog. Why? Dogs are naturally comfortable with people, even those they don’t know. Cheetahs are quite a bit more cautious and wary of new situations; having a dog buddy to show them that everything is okay—and even fun—helps the cat feel comfortable and relaxed. The dog’s body language communicates that there’s nothing to fear, which relaxes and calms the cheetah’s flight tendencies. We introduce a puppy buddy when the cheetah is still a cub and naturally playful. By spending time together they get to know each other and become buddies.
You may see a buddy pair walking around Zoo grounds or playing in the Animal Ambassador Area.