I've been saving this one, but it's time to post it. As you know, Sandy and I recently went to a luncheon at White Oak Conservation Center.
At the end of the luncheon, they let us see a new arrival: a baby cheetah. Unfortunately, when a mother cheetah gives birth, she cares for her babies, as any mother does, but in the case of a single birth, that is, only one infant, the energy and risk expended to raise one baby puts her at such high risk with such little reward (a life for a life...) that she abandons the infant. In this case, the litter had four babies, two stillborn, and one died soon thereafter.
Anyway, yesterday, Kathie and I went to Sandy's for a lovely dinner and some wine, and along the way I mentioned the cheetah cub being raised by the Alsacian shepherd puppy. Sandy said not, it was an Anatolian shepherd. Which I immediately changed to an Andalusian shepherd. Just to keep me straight, she sent me the link to the AKC. OK, fine, Sandy, it's an Anatolian shepherd. Hope you're happy.
Anyway, the cheetah cub is being raised with the puppy, which will befriend her, defend her, and be her lifelong companion. White Oak has tried interesting innovations in the past to keep its cheetah kittens alive. Once, a cub had been abandoned by it's mother. Soon after, another cheetah had a litter of fourcubs. The staff spirited away the second mother's litter and put the other cub among them. They rubbed the cubs so that their scents would be mingled, then returned five cubs to the mother. She sniffed at the (slightly larger and strange-smelling) cub, licked him and allowed him to stay with the family. Unfortunately, in the photo above, you can only see part of cub #5, including his tail, on the far right.
This time, there were no other litters to pull that stunt with, hence, the puppy experiment. Here are some pictures:
Pretty adorable, huh?