Flickr: Buckeye Beth
A cheetah cub and a black mixed pup became best buddies at the Cincinnati Zoo. Cali, the puppy was adopted to help raise Nia, the cheetah. Nia's two other siblings did not survive, leaving Nia alone by herself. The zoo tried to find a simliar sized and aged animal that could be her substitute sibling in order to provide Nia the proper socialization that is so crucial for her physical and mental development.
Though big cats and domestic dogs are very different, as they grow up together, they learn from each other's habits and communicate in a way that works for both species. Wild animals need to have the opportunities to play rough with their peers in order to become "successful adults." Cali plays an important role in Nia's upbringing besides being the best buddy she has ever had.
Cali has become an ambassador animal for the Cincinnati Zoo to teach children about wildlife and conservation.
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