Cheetahs are believed to be majestic and dangerous beasts, actually, they are very nervous beings. They get so anxious, they don’t know how to socialise with each other and get too afraid to have sex. As they’re becoming extinct, they need help – and the solution came in the most unexpected form…
Observing that cheetahs need some assistance, for years now zoo keepers have been assigning these animals their very own… emotional support dogs. “It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive,” said Jack Grisham, vice president of animal collections at the St. Louis Zoo and species survival plan coordinator for cheetahs in North America.
“A dominant dog is very helpful because cheetahs are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Janet Rose-Hinostroza, explains. “When you pair them [cheetahs with dogs], the cheetah looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behaviour. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog” – and that helps them be more confident and willing to get it on.
· That’s right, cheetahs, relax and enjoy yourselves like doggies would – then procreate!
· “It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog”.
· “It’s a love story of one species helping another species survive”.
· When they have a dog around, cheetahs relax and learn confident behaviours they can mimic.
· They get so anxious and stressed, they don’t breed and are becoming extinct.
By Drishti Gupta