Cats and dogs seem to be the bane of each others’ existence. Dogs can’t help by bark at cats, and cats can’t help but antagonize dogs, but regardless, Cincinnati Zoo has some incredible news for cat and/or dog lovers.
Despite the unfortunate death of a cheetah mother, who recently gave birth to a total of five cheetah cubs, an unexpected animal is now caring for the younglings – a dog.
An Australian Shepard nursery dog named Blakely is taking care of the five cubs while zoo officials aren’t around. Nevertheless, zoo officials continue to keep around-the-clock surveillance on the cubs to ensure they’re being fed and that their digestive systems keep moving.
The mother, who was experiencing ill health, wasn’t expected to make it through birth, so zoo officials say that a Cesarean Section was performed to save the lives of the five small cubs, which probably wouldn’t have made it if officially didn’t act quickly.
The cubs are reportedly doing fine. Their eyes have all started opening, they’re pooping, and they’ve got too appetites; zoo officials are tending to their health every few hours to ensure they’re all okay. So far, so good!
Blakely, the nursery dog caring for the cubs like the mother they never had, will be helping the cubs to build the muscle they need to walk on their own. Among one of the tasks the dog has is letting the cubs climb all over her so they can build those climbing muscles.
“His first job is to let the cubs climb on him, which they did as soon as they were put together. They need the exercise to build muscle tone and get their guts moving,” said Dawn Strasser, the zoo’s nursery keeper.
Blakely will also keep the cubs warm at night so they don’t get too cold, and will help to teach and train the cubs to behave and to play.
The birth of these five cheetahs is a great thing, because the species is endangered. Cheetahs thrive in the wild and in zoos, but their numbers have declined from 100,000 in 1900 to as low as 9,000 today, as Cincinnati Zoo reports.
Blakely has a full-time job on her shoulders, but he has done it before, so he’ll probably do great!
Source: Cincinnati Zoo