Kasi and Mtani: Cheetah and Dog Friends Celebrate Anniversary

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.

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.

26 thoughts on “Kasi and Mtani: Cheetah and Dog Friends Celebrate Anniversary

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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