You already know that cheetahs are the fastest cats on the savannah, but did you know they’re also one of the most anxious? Captive cheetahs are notoriously nervous creatures that have a hard time socializing with other cheetahs. Their social avoidance has negative impacts on their procreation rates as well, as this endangered species seeks comfortable solitude over mates.
The solution? Give them a bubbly companion to break them out of their furry shell! Like the yin to the yang, cheetahs in captivity are being assigned emotional support dogs to reduce their anxiety and learn the social skills they need. Here are some of these adorable working relationships.
It’s not just puppy love between Emmett the cheetah and support companion Cullen at the Columbus Zoo. The pair have been inseparable since Emmett arrived at the Zoo from his birthplace at The Wilds animal sanctuary in Ohio. Born into captivity without access to traditional cheetah group dynamics in the wild, Emmett needs the social interaction that Cullen offers.
They live and learn together as Cullen helps calm Emmett’s skittish nerves and gain valuable confidence. An added bonus is that this duo will melt your heart with their cuteness.