VIDEO: Cheetah and dog become best friends - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

VIDEO: Cheetah and dog become best friends

(Source: Metro Richmond Zoo) (Source: Metro Richmond Zoo)
(Source: Metro Richmond Zoo) (Source: Metro Richmond Zoo)
(Source: Metro Richmond Zoo) (Source: Metro Richmond Zoo)

A Cheetah and a dog - Not a pair you'd guess to become best friends, but the two at the Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia are just that.

Perhaps their bond is so strong because it began shortly after birth, according to a post on the MRZ website.

Kumbali the cheetah and Kago the dog are both several months old now.

At two weeks old, cheetah cub Kumbali was losing weight. His mother was not producing enough milk. Zoo keepers removed the cub to bottle-raise him, with the hope of being able to boost his weight.

Since Kumbali was pulled from his litter, he could not be safely reintroduced to his family because he’d be perceived as a threat.

So he needed a friend. Kago, a lab mix puppy, was rescued from a high kill shelter in Alabama and proved to be the perfect bud for Kumbali.

[Mobile users can click here to watch the video of the two playing.]

In the short-term, zoo officials will continue to keep Kumbali and Kago together.

In the long-term, zoo officials are considering reintroducing Kumbali to his family. Kago would then live with the Zoo Director Jim Andelin. Kago could possibly be used as a companion to another cheetah.

If Kumbali is not reintroduced to his family, zoo officials say the cheetah and dog will likely live out their lives together.

Dogs have been used as companion’s to cheetahs for more than 30 years, according to the post by the MRZ.

While the relationship between dog and cheetah is only possibly in captivity, MRZ officials write there are many positives to this relationship including boosting confidence.

The brotherly duo can be seen at the MRZ Monday through Thursday from noon to 1 p.m and Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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