Zookeepers Give Shy Cheetahs Therapy Dogs to Relax Them

Would you ever guess that the fierce, graceful cheetah is actually a nervous wreck? They get so anxious in captivity that they are unable to socialize with each other and are often too stressed to have sex. That’s why they needed help as they’re becoming extinct – and the solution came in the most unexpected form…

For years now zoo keepers have been assigning these animals their very own emotional support dogs.“A dominant dog is very helpful because cheetahs are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” explains Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park via buzzfeed. “When you pair them [cheetahs with dogs], the cheetah looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behavior. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog” The dogs relax the cheetahs so much that they are able to relax and make those adorable babies. (Images courtesy of Colombus Zoo)

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