With his help, five orphaned cheetah kittens were raised by this Australian Shepherd. Their mother died soon after birth, and their odds of survival were bleak. Then Blakely, the compassionate dog, came along and changed their lives!
At the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Cheetah Breeding Facility, the five cubs were born in Ohio: three boys and two girls. A few weeks after giving birth, mom died owing to difficulties.
No one doubted the staff’s efforts to save the cubs. During their initial weeks of life, the cubs need to be close to their moms. Regardless, they took the cubs to the nursery, where they were bottle-fed round the clock and given the greatest medical care available. What was most important was keeping the crew warm. Their mother’s body was all they needed. Until Blakely intervened!
Blakely has been a facility resident for over five years as a therapy dog. This was not the Australian Shepherd’s first time. After comforting a calf, he was employed to soothe another cheetah who had lost her baby. So he and the cubs clicked right away. So sweet to cuddle and climb over Blakely like a mother. Despite their good rapport, Blakely only visits them twice a day. They are fed and rested during the day.
Regardless, the loving dog will be by their sides for a long time. According to the zoo’s head nursery keeper Dawn Strasser, Blakely’s role in the cubs’ growth will shift from climbable buddy to instructor.