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New Playpal for Kasi the Cheetah Cub

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 3

Busch Gardens’ Cheetah cub has a new companion! Since the young Cheetah cub is being hand-raised by keepers, staff decided to pair him with a Labrador puppy as a playpal to help the animal socialize. Both animals are quite playful and naturally curious about the other. They have been getting along wonderfully. While this is Busch Gardens' first puppy / cheetah pairing, the move is not uncommon at zoos. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” explained animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life."

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 2

Cheetah and puppy at busch gardens 4Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Cheetah and puppy each received names yesterday selected by the public. The Cheetah's name, Kasi" means "one with speed" while the Lab's name, Mtani, means "close friend" in Swahili. See pics of Kasi as a young cub here.