© 2021 Cincinnati Public Radio
purple_waveback6.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
SPOTLIGHT: Your 2021 voter guide to Cincinnati's races for mayor, City Council, school board and more ahead of Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2. >>
Local News
91.7 WVXU Connecting you to a world of ideas with NPR news, local news from our award-winning team & music/entertainment programs heard only on public radio.

Video Of A Cheetah Playing With A Dog At The Zoo Will Make Your Day

IMG_0824.JPG
Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
Moose (the dog) and Donni (the cheetah) rest in between romps.

After two years, Moose and Donni are still together. Moose is a chocolate lab and Donni, a cheetah. The Cincinnati Zoo paired the two up in 2016 so Donni could learn to run and play given that he didn't have any brothers or sisters who could teach him.

Lead Trainer of the Cat Ambassador Program Linda Castaneda describes their first encounter when Moose was a puppy and Donni a cub.

IMG_0770.JPG
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Moose spends much of his time interacting with trainers at the zoo, but a couple times a day he plays with Donni the cheetah.

"He (Moose) wagged his tail and shuffled on over to Donni and Donni walloped him not knowing what he was and that's his way of initiating play. To which Moose probably thought, 'That's not how I intended that going,'" she recalls. "But after a couple of interactions that were supervised of course, they realized, hey, you like to play; I like to play and wrestle."

Here is a video of one of the duo's first interactions two years ago.

The friendship has grown because Moose was very open-minded to the thought of this new relationship.

Castaneda often wonders what the two are thinking. "I wonder if the cheetah thinks, 'Poor thing, that cheetah doesn't have any spots; it's never going to blend in.' And I wonder if the dog wonders why that other dog is so weird."

The two play together a couple times a day. Here is a video of them playing last Friday at the zoo.

This is the fifth dog-cheetah pairing at the Cincinnati Zoo. Castaneda says no dogs or cheetahs have gotten injured. Still, one wonders: How long can this relationship last? 

"I always say it's like siblings," Castaneda says. "Sharing a room might have been a blast. At some point though, you really wanted your own room."

IMG_0828.JPG
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Most of the time it appeared Moose the dog had more energy then Donni the cheetah.