Abandoned Baby Cheetah Meets A New Best Friend

Ruuxa, the cheetah, was abandoned by his mom when he was a baby when he met Raina, a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. Ruuxa ended up forming an unbreakable bond with Raina who is like a sister to him.

Thankfully, he was rescued by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. They knew that Ruuxa needed a buddy, and instead of pairing him with another cheetah or large cat, they hooked him up with Raina who was just 8-weeks-old at the time.

“The point of bonding them from this very young age was that they’d have a relationship that would be more like siblings than like friends,” San Diego Zoo Safari Park Animal Training Supervisor Janet Rose-Hinostroza said.

They were always there for each other just like best friends, when they needed it most, like when Ruuxa needed surgery. The medical staff at the park noticed that Ruuxa’s legs were growing in a bow shape. His genetic condition called ‘valgus abnormality’ would affect his ability to run at high speeds. It was serious and would require an operation.

“We never thought the day would come where Ruuxa would be running,” Janet said.

“They were afraid that Ruuxa and Raina weren’t going to be able to socialize for a few weeks because we wanted to be very cautious with his healing legs,” Janet explains. “We couldn’t keep Raina away from Ruuxa or Ruuxa away from Raina. They were apart for fifteen minutes.”

Raina was very careful around her brother and made sure to be gentle and steer clear of his bandaged legs. “With Ruuxa’s physical challenges, it’s been wonderful that he’s had such a close relationship with Raina to help him through his medical recovery,” she said.

Watch these two cuties interact in the video below.

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