It started like this:
Babies at Busch Gardens zoo in Florida in search of a playmate.
They found each other.
Kasi, the cheetah cub who was born at the zoo in January last year, was paired with Mtani, a Labrador Retriever puppy about the same age, to help socialize him.
Today the canine and feline pair live together at the park's cheetah habitat.
“Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life."
The pair often travels together to schools and makes television appearances to highlight the plight of cheetahs in the wild.
Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as the U.S. Endangered Species Act list. Only an estimated 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild.
This week marked the one-year anniversary since Mtani and Kasi were unveiled to the public.
Look at them now!
(Photo/Busch Gardens/Tampa Bay)