Kasi and Mtani: Cheetah and Dog Friends Celebrate Anniversary

Busch Gardens Tampa is celebrating an anniversary for a very special relationship. April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the first time park guests got to see an 8-week-old male cheetah cub and a 16-week-old female yellow labrador puppy start to strike up a friendship that the park’s animal experts expect to last a lifetime.

The pair — later named Kasi and Mtani — spent only supervised play times together at first. The cheetah first came to the park after its mother ceased caring for him. The 8-week-old male cheetah cub and 16-week-old female yellow labrador puppy bonded instantly. Now, a year later, they live together full time at the park’s Cheetah Run habitat and even travel together to schools, events and television studios, helping the park’s education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.


  1. <3<3

  2. <3

  3. Vanessa says on  04/20/2012 at 10:03 am

    If that dog gets eaten, I’m gonna be upset…

  4. Catherine says on  04/20/2012 at 10:04 am

    sweet but why is the dog living there and not in a home?

  5. Janet says on  04/20/2012 at 10:04 am

    awwww lovely..:)

  6. Shannon says on  04/20/2012 at 10:08 am

    I just told my mastiff that she needs a Cheetah for her little brother. LOL, nice story:)

  7. Julie says on  04/20/2012 at 10:12 am

    So sweet!

  8. Since they grew up together, the chances of the dog getting eaten are pretty slim. I used to work at the Houston Zoo and their 2 cheetahs were raised with 2 anatolian shepherds since they were cubs and puppies. The dogs actually act as the cheetahs protectors. Cheetahs are considered more flight animals than fight animals so in Africa, farmers are turning to dogs to scare the cheetahs from killing their livestock rather than the farmers killing the cheetahs. It’s a new program that is helping save a lot of cheetahs lives. At our Zoo, the 2 species were raised together and act as ambassadors of that program. Cheetahs are amazing animals.

  9. Congratulations, Busch Gardens! You ROCK!

  10. Monica says on  04/20/2012 at 10:35 am

    I think the human race would do well to take lessons from dogs. They are unique among mammals in that they have the capacity to accept all others as part of their pack/family… Regardless of species! As long as their basic needs are met they are happy to accept any creature. If only people could do the same.

  11. Uhhg! I was just going to comment on how sweet it was and how this unusual pair will catch people’s attention so they can learn more about the plight of the cheetah,and someone has to make a negative comment.I’m pretty sure Bush Garden’s is not going to be reckless with the life of an animal as it would be publicity..bad publicity.These two have bonded and hopefully will be happy together.

  12. Oh my cutenesss <3

  13. Debbi says on  04/20/2012 at 10:59 am

    They are so beautiful. We always make sure to see them when we visit.

  14. Mercedes says on  04/20/2012 at 11:09 am

    a wonderful story about friendship!

  15. What a nice story to start off a Friday morning!

  16. Good friends!!!

  17. Karen Greig says on  04/20/2012 at 12:28 pm


  18. Maybe we need to learn a lesson from them! Wonderful!!!

  19. Crystal says on  04/20/2012 at 12:48 pm

    The Wildlife Safari here in Oregon has a dog and cheetah that live together!

  20. Amazing and awesome video.

  21. One word……..AMAZING!!

  22. Shelley says on  04/20/2012 at 1:19 pm

    Mtani is suspiciously tall for a Lab, maybe a greyhound mix?

  23. fills my heart with joy amazing story

  24. I cann´t believe it, incredeble

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