Video: Puppy Gives Baby Cheetah Sweet Puppy Kisses

An unlikely and insanely cute friendship is forming at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

By | Posted: June 12, 2014, 4 p.m. PST

Ruuxa, a six-week-old cheetah cub, and Raina, a seven-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, have formed an improbable friendship and I think I might die of cuteness overload.Seriously, if you have a heart condition that may be triggered by overwhelming joy, close the page now.

These two charming animals will be raised together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. "They are best friends,” says Susie Ekard, San Diego Zoo Safari Park Animal Training Manager. "They will live together 24 hours a day. We are starting it a lot younger because the cheetah was by himself and did not have any siblings. We wanted him to have a companion immediately, because he needed those social skills and that interaction even as he is nursing and growing up."

Is the song "Best of Friends" from Fox and the Hound playing in anyone else's head? What can I say, interspecies friendships get me EVERY time.

13 Dog Moms Whose Love Knows No Bounds, Interspecies Maternal Love at Its Finest>>

The two were paired together after the little cheetah, who was an only child, was rejected by his mother. In the wild it is not uncommon for mother cheetahs to reject a single cub because they have a lower chance of survival. Raina will provide companionship and well as confidence that will put Ruuxa at ease as she matures. 

Cheetah and Puppy San Diego Zoo 

Cheetah and Puppy San Diego Zoo


Cheetah and Puppy San Diego Zoo

Ruuxa has been chosen to be the ambassador at the Safari Park and Raina will be right next to her to support her throughout her life. 

This is not the only dog-cheetah matching the zoo has done.

Learn More About this Unique Program: Rescue Dog Bonds with Cheetah>>

You can visit the dog-and-cheetah pairs at the zoo or Safari Park, or get special, up-close access with the Backstage Pass. Learn more at


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Shirley   lethbridge Alberta, International

7/3/2014 3:06:30 PM

Very heart-warming.Thanks for sharing

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Karen   Columbus, Georgia

6/19/2014 4:59:30 AM

TOO Sweet..I hope they get to grow up together..Bless both of them! <3

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Barbara   Palmyra, Pennsylvania

6/18/2014 3:44:03 AM

When I 1st saw the title, I was afraid this was an example of a "photo op shyster" who takes big cats' cubs away from their mother at birth, so they can display them at malls, fairs, etc. for the public to pay for pictures to be taken with them. Problem is, after a few months, the "cute cubs" start becoming the wild cats they really are, then those shysters get rid of them. And another cub gets ripped away from their mother to keep the $$ coming. So releived to see it was a legit situation in San Diego instead.

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Rebecca   Murray, Nebraska

6/17/2014 8:00:33 PM

This is the MOST SWEET melt-my-heart animal thing I've ever seen on the Internet!

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