Zookeeper Brings Tiny Puppy To Meet Abandoned Cheetah Cub

Ruuxa the cheetah cub had a tough start in life. He was born an only child, which is unusual for cheetahs. Normally, cheetahs have three to nine cubs per litter.After being abandoned, the cub was rescued by San Diego Zoo Safari Park. But the zookeepers worried that Ruuxa would be lonely and needed a buddy.

And so, they introduced him to an eight-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback dog named Raina.“The point of bonding them from this very young age was that they’d have a relationship that would be more like siblings than like friends,” San Diego Zoo Safari Park Animal Training Supervisor Janet Rose-Hinostroza said.

The two were practically inseparable from that point forward and were like siblings and the bestest of best friends.

And just like best friends, they were always there for each other when they needed it most, like when Ruuxa needed surgery. The medical staff at the park noticed that Ruuxa’s legs were growing funny and in a bow shape.

He had a genetic condition called valgus abnormality that would affect his ability to run at high speeds. It was serious and would require an operation.

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“We never thought the day would come where Ruuxa would be running,” Janet said.

But that day did come, thanks to Raina.
She stood by her buddy Ruuxa’s side and even sat in the operating room throughout her procedure.

Source: YouTube Screenshot

“They were afraid that Ruuxa and Raina weren’t going to be able to socialize for a few weeks because we wanted to be very cautious with his healing legs,” Janet explains. “We couldn’t keep Raina away from Ruuxa or Ruuxa away from Raina. They were apart for fifteen minutes.”

Source: YouTube Screenshot

Even though Ruuxa’s bandaged legs looked like dog toys, Raina was very careful around her brother and made sure to be gentle and steer clear of his tender parts.

Source: YouTube Screenshot

But the two still played at best as they could, which Janet says helped Ruuxa to heal quickly.

“With Ruuxa’s physical challenges, it’s been wonderful that he’s had such a close relationship with Raina to help him through his medical recovery,” she said.

Ruuxa and Raina are a great pair who helped each other grow up. We’re so glad these two had each other!

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