Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s first cub and puppy duo has proven an internet sensation thanks to a series of irresistible pictures of the two at play.
The cheetah arrived at the park a month ago after its mother ceased caring for him.
After a wave of fans started following the pair a naming contest was started. It just wrapped up and the official names have been released. The 16-week-old female yellow Lab puppy will be named Mtani, Swahili for “close friend. The 8-week-old male cheetah cub will be named Kasi, Swahili for “one with speed.”
“Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” said Tim Smith, a curator for Busch Gardens. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life.”
Kasi and Mtani have been spending play time together each day and are eventually expected to live with one another.