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The Cincinnati Zoo’s African cheetah cub, Savanna, and 13-week-old labrador mix puppy, Max, were recently introduced to each other, on September 5, and are quickly becoming great friends!

Savanna was born at the Zoo’s Regional Cheetah Breeding Facility in Clermont County, Ohio on June 22, but she was moved to the Zoo’s Nursery after her mother, Lucy, (this is her first litter) could not provide adequate care. Zoo Nursery keepers bottle fed the cub six times a day, every 2.5 hours, until she was ready to leave the Nursery.

On September 4, Savanna moved from the Nursery to the Zoo's Cat Ambassador Program and here she will be raised to become a Cat Ambassador and the Zoo’s next sprinter.  Often in captivity, single cheetah cubs are paired with a young puppy to provide companionship and a playmate.  At the Zoo, Savanna is not encouraged to play with her trainers in the same manner that she can play with Max, so this relationship is critical in her development.  Savanna and Max will remain together until one of them decides they are no longer interested.

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