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UNLIKELY BEST FRIENDS

      On July 7, 2019, Neema, a cheetah at the Zoo’s Mast Farm Breeding Center gave birth to
                         a single cub. It is common for cheetah mothers to abandon a single cub, so our animal
                   care team stepped in to hand-raise the infant. The new cub, named “Kris” after longtime Cat
                   Ambassador Program (CAP) supporter Kris Kalnow, was healthy and somewhat sassy, accord-
                   ing to her caregivers. But without litter mates, she was missing out on companionship with
                   siblings. That’s where Remus the shelter dog came in.
                   	 At first glance, it seems a bit strange - cats and dogs just don’t get along. But the Cincinnati
                   Zoo has been debunking this myth for years. Puppies make excellent companions for chee-
                   tahs, and there’s no one preferred breed for the job – it’s the personality that counts!
                   	 There are many reasons why a puppy is an excellent companion for cheetahs. First, they
                   love to jump and play, behavior that is essential to health and development. Second, both
                   animals have the ability and instinct to run. The challenge to keep up with each other has
                   turned Remus into an excellent runner, although Kris beats him every time. They are constant
                   companions now, but cheetahs are ultimately solitary creatures. They will remain together
                   until Kris reaches the age of two or so, when she will begin to pull away as she would in the
                   wild. When that happens, Remus will go home with someone on the Cincinnati Zoo’s staff – he
                   has plenty of options already! But for now, the pair still has a lot of bonding and playing to do.

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