For years zookeepers have been assigning cheetahs their very own emotional support dogs. Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and species survival plan coordinator for cheetahs in North America said, “It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,”
“A dominant dog is very helpful because the African animals 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. “When you pair cheetah cub with a guide dog, the cat 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 cheetah support dog” – and that helps them be more confident and willing to get it on.