A cheetah rescued from the wild has found a close buddy in a dog at the Turtle Back Zoo in New Jersey.
Nandi- the cheetah and Bowie- the Labrador retriever are redefining friendship goals as the two roam, play and remain inseparable while staying at the Turtle Back Zoo, in New Jersey.
“They’ve been together since they were just a few weeks old,” zookeeper and animal trainer Charlotte Trapman-O’Brien told WCBS.
Since wild cats are “naturally skittish by nature,” and find it difficult to mingle with others, the zoo kept Nandi and Bowie together.
And, this has forged a strong bond between the two. Zookeepers inform that they love to wrestle in the snow and share their toys with each other.
Therapy dog Bowie
Bowie has been specially trained to calm animals such as Nandi, who withdrawn from her natural habitat is often edgy and anxious in the presence of crowds.
“Bowie has a very important job here, which is to be, kind of, her confidence builder.
“So one of the things that allows us to bring her out and do educational presentations like this is having Bowie by her side,” explained Trapman-O’Brien in her interview with WCBS.
“We do need him to be calm. That’s his whole job with the cheetah. So no matter what else is going on, if something startles her, she needs to look to him, and he needs to be calm,” added trainer Samantha Wegman.
With less than 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild in Africa, the Turtle Back Zoo also runs a wildlife conservation program so that people are “inspired to understand, appreciate and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things”.
Share this heartwarming story of friendship to show how friendly and loving animals can be!
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