Animal Shelter & Zoo: What's the Connection?
The San Diego Zoo is well known to many of us. With over 3,700 animals and 100 acres of parkland it falls into second place on the USA Travel Guide's top 10 Zoos. The San Diego Zoo also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park which displays animals in a more expansive natural habitat.
The real story is not about the amazing zoo, but about a specific animal that resides there: the cheetahs. Cheetah's are amazing hunters and with their outstanding speed, they can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.4 seconds. That means they could beat your neighbors Ferrari any day. Although these things are true, the fact remains that they are easily scared.
Some zoo's like the San Diego Zoo, have been introducing dogs from local shelters into the cheetah habitats. The dogs serve as "companion dogs" for the cheetahs. They help to make the cheetahs feel safe, serve as playmates, and even guidance for the young cats.
The dogs eventually develop relationships with the large cats and this serves as a source of comfort for the cheetahs. The point of all of this is so that the cheetahs will continue to mate. With the dogs around serving as protectors, the cheetahs can mate in peace and safety.
Overall this common goal has dog and cat united in a connection to help a species survive. Fore more on this story, go to SanDiegoZoo.org